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Sweet June Flies By

Dear Friends,

St. Stephen's Church, Pittsfield. Please come!

This June newsletter is coming very late, and I apologize. It has been a remarkable month, even by AFSO standards. First, thanks to our many donors who have stepped up to get "Building the Bridge" under construction. We are just shy of our $12,000 in matching funds and hope to close the gap this Sunday, June 30, at "Songs of Love and War," the concert and reception we are hosting with Cuatro Puntos and Arson Fahim at St. Stephen's Church in Pittsfield. If you are in the Berkshires, please come; if you aren't, please alert any friends who are, so they won't miss this remarkable event.

 

As we build this bridge, we have established three giving circles. "Bridge Builders" contribute at least $3,700, enough to fund 10 women for a year. "Communicators" donate at least $2,000, to enable the crucial communications tools those students will need for a year of education. And "Connections Circle" acknowledges gifts of at least $370, which connects the donor to the student whose education they are funding for a year. We hope you'll join whichever of these giving tiers fits your budget. Remember, it costs only $37/month to educate an AFSO student, less than a plate of ravioli with a glass of wine. At the same time, we now have 1,500 female students in our registration system, so the need remains enormous.

 

I'm pleased to report that our pitch video, which you can view below, is now a finalist in the Greater Sum's Pitch Competition, which awards grants to nonprofit startups. We'll be working with The Greater Sum to build our communications and let the world know more about AFSO. We are just so busy doing the work that we have little time to blow our own horn.

 

Two weeks ago, our Board member Rahman Azari traveled to Doha for the third meeting of the Alliance for the Education of Afghan Women, a worldwide consortium of initiatives aimed at helping all levels of the population in "the worst place in the world to be a woman." Along with my own visit to the Raoul Wallenberg Institute in Lund, Sweden, the conference helped initiate and consolidate a number of partnerships both within and outside Afghanistan.

 

While we are applying for grants and building those partnerships, classes are up and running for 500 students. Three of our own classes are now cross-listed with the Open Society University Network, and our top students are taking other credit-bearing courses there as well. We're grateful for our Board, for all our volunteer professors and teaching assistants, for our tireless 2-person staff of Amran Fatih and Katy Masuga, and for the volunteers behind the scenes doing our bookkeeping, our accounting, our graphics and video, our grantwriting, and countless other tasks. None of this would be possible without you.

 

Best to all,

Lucy

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Hartford Courant, January 1, 2024 (233 KB)

"The Taliban Restricts Female Education. A CT Professor Is Among Those Teaching Afghan Women Anyway"

Chronicle of Higher Education, November 20, 2023 (2.03 MB)

"Leaning While Female in Kabul"