Support Afghan Women & Youth Initiatives in 2023

In 2023 BBS continues its commitment to Afghanistan in partnership with the UN Mission in Badakhshan and the Afghan non-profit SALEHO.

Building on the women’s centre opened in the autumn of 2022 in the Zebak district, we are grateful for the approval to continue our women-centric activities, in consideration of social and cultural themes, with a second centre in Ishkashim that will offer a life skills program focusing on the topic of household firewood and smoke inhalation plus a lending library for women and children.

The reduction of household wood consumption and smoke inhalation is an important health consideration for this region and here’s why…

World Health Organisation (WHO) data states that “4.2 million people die from exposure to outdoor air pollution, in addition to the 3.8 million whose deaths are linked to household smoke produced by dirty stoves and fuels. The main problem posed by heating and cooking is the smoke, which kills 54,000 Afghans a year. Most of those killed are children under five.”

The WHO also ranked the problem as one of the worst health risks facing the poor. “More than 95% of Afghanistan’s 30 million people burn solid fuels, such as wood and coal, in their homes, said the World Health Organisation, making it one of the top 10 countries worst-affected by indoor pollution.”

By addressing this important household issue with practical life skills, including introducing women to alternative cooking methods in their home, we’ll have a direct impact on the overall health of families.  As part of this program, households will also receive follow-up visits to support the implementation and address challenges that may have arisen following their workshop session.

BBS is also committed to helping provide new breadmaking stoves to communities.  These new stoves burn considerably less firewood and create minimal smoke.  Made in the local city of Faizabad, each unit costs approximately US$55 and to date the communities in our project zone have not used them because of the cost.

The new centre will include a small lending library with 150 unique titles for women and children including books and audio books. We’re very thankful to the Department of Culture of Information of Badakhshan who donated 120 books including 100 for children to our Zebak centre in the autumn of 2022.

Through all the upheaval a small window of opportunity remains open, and we look forward to continuing to support families and their communities in 2023.

Donations for our 2023 centre can be made through this page. 

For US and UK taxpayers, you may wish to donate through our GlobalGiving project page to receive an official tax receipt.  To go to our GlobalGiving project page, please click here.

“Education is the realisation of hope for the future.”

Victor Tam

Wakhan Corridor Adult Literacy Overivew

Between 2018 and 2019, BBS partnered with Canadian Women for Women in Afghanistan and SALEHO to deliver an adult literacy program in six villages in the Wakhan Corridor.

This remote region of Afghanistan has one of the lowest literacy rates in the world and literacy is a top prioirty identified by the Wahki people.

The focus of our work, which was delivered by the local non-profit SALEHO, was on improving adult literacy rates through a program designed specifically for adult learners and delivered by local teachers trained on program delivery from master trainers.

The villages that participated in this program were Qazdeh, Vark, Shkharv, Kushnikhan, Worgund Payan and Worgund Bala. In total, 242 students enrolled in 12 classes with 20 students per class and 2 shifts of teaching each day. To support the literacy classes, 8 libraries were opened and local villagers trained as libarians.

Project Highlights:

  • Training of literacy teachers and Master Trainers were conducted twice (first session in Faizabad and the second in Shekharv Village of Wakhan District);
  • All the required furniture, training materials, books etc. have been provided and distributed to the students;
  • Twelve literacy classes were established;
  • The evaluation report of the students, based on the three tests, shows high knowledge of the students (70% received high achievements);
  • Regular supervision and monitoring of the classes have been done by the Project Manager and MoE teams;
  • Training on librarianship and reading promotion was conducted in July 2019;
  • Eight libraries have been established and the students, teachers and local people are benefiting;
  • The report of students’ attendance sheets shows 94% present during the months of May – June 2019.

The photos below are from the graduation ceremony in November, 2019.

July 2020

Certificates of Achievement for the Literacy Program

BBS would like to thank the following people and organisations for their generous support

Frank Gounelas
Geoff Bedford
Ioannis Exarchos
Jamshid Sultanzada
Laurie DeBoer
LBKT Farms Limited
Linda Sekura
Linsey Flannery

Maltec Leichtbautechnologie
Mark Quigley
Matin Zamani
Michael Marcus
Molly Hollihan
Natalie Osborne
Neo Performance Materials

Pauline Niebur
Peter Johnston
Peter Kruyt
Samuel Plagnard
Sara James
Scott Gillespie
Stefanos Kourelas

Sylvia Hirsche Memorial Library
Sylvia Liu
Taber Memorial Library
Tonya Tecca
Tracy Driscoll
Viva, Beijing Professional Women’s Association
Wray Armstrong

100% of donations made through BBS go to those in need.