AFCECO Timeline

Two Decades of Reshaping Bright Futures for Afghan Children Through Care and Learning

AFCECO’s journey over the last two decades has been a challenging one, faced with the task of raising children with progressive and liberal values in a society entrenched in misogynistic traditions and governed by Jihadists and warlords. Founded and led by Andeisha Farid, who rose from the life of a refugee camp, AFCECO stands against all odds, following an educational approach that champions gender equality and empowers girls. AFCECO’s orphanages, more than mere traditional shelters, cradles of learning and growth, where children from varied backgrounds, regions, and ethnicities live together as a family. Under one roof, they learn more than academics; they learn the profound values of tolerance and respect, forging a future where every child can thrive.

First orphanage opens
Child sponsorship starts
AFCECO registers
Orphanages are closed
Safehouses are set up
The first orphanage is set up in a refugee community in Pakistan, laying the groundwork for AFCECO
Launch of the Child Sponsorship program in collaboration with CHI
AFCECO registers as a non-profit organization in Afghanistan, growing to establish 11 orphanages.
AFCECO shifts from public programs to covert operations, establishing hidden safehouses.
AFCECO now operates safehouses for Afghan girls and supports youths in pursuing higher education

2003
2004
2008
2021
Present

Our Team

AFCECO is now guided by a team of four young women, all of whom were raised in the AFCECO orphanages. Jamshid Farid, who alongside Andeisha Farid laid AFCECO's foundations, serves as a mentor and advisor to this young team. Each member of the team has been with AFCECO for over 15 years, with Mahbooba and Pashtana being the first children to join the orphanage in 2003. This team represents diverse ethnicities: Mahbooba brings perspectives from the Nuristani community, Sahar from the Uzbek, Madina from the Tajik, and Pashtana from the Pashtun. Nazifa and Pari, affectionately known as "AFCECO moms", who have been the backbone of the orphanage administration since 2006, are now overseeing AFCECO programs in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

It is important to note that all AFCECO team members are volunteers and do not receive any financial compensation or benefits.

The fall of Kabul to the Taliban in 2021 led to the closure of AFCECO's main office in Kabul. Consequently, key team members have relocated abroad while continuing to supervise AFCECO programs remotely.

Mahbooba Siraj

Mahbooba Siraj

Executive Director
Pashtana Rasol

Pashtana Rasol

Director of Developent
Aisha Nabi

Aisha Nabi

Education Coordinator
Madina Noori

Madina Noori

Sponsors Relation

Our Programs

AFCECO's Response to the Changing Landscape in Kabul:

Safehouses for Girls

After the fall of Kabul to the Taliban on August 15, 2021, the landscape shifted dramatically for all organizations, including AFCECO. The overt operation of orphanages became untenable as they presented a clear target for the Taliban. In response to the evolving political climate, the AFCECO team faced the daunting task of ensuring both the safety of the girls in their care and the continuation of their education. The protection of our girls emerged as the paramount concern.

Within a month of Kabul’s collapse, AFCECO successfully established family-style homes for the children, each managed by a couple who would reside with the girls and their own children. These new residences were designated as “safehouses,” with the aim of maintaining a low profile to prevent drawing the attention of neighbors or the Taliban. To further this goal, we arranged for girls sharing the same ethnicity and language to live together.

The subsequent hurdle for AFCECO was to circumvent the Taliban’s ban on girls attending school. Our innovative solution encompassed “clandestine home-based classes” and “remote classes.” We engaged tutors for in-person instruction and secured approximately 15 volunteers from Afghanistan and the United States to conduct online classes. Consequently, our girls were able to resume their educational pursuits.

To facilitate these new arrangements, we outfitted the safehouses with solar power, high-speed internet connections, and technological devices such as tablets and laptops, ensuring uninterrupted access to online classes. We rehired former staff members as house parents and delegated one or two university-aged girls from our program to each house to support the house parents and assist the children in communicating with their sponsors. In exchange for their services, AFCECO covered their university tuition fees.

In April 2022, we inaugurated a special safehouse in Islamabad tailored to our most vulnerable girls, including musicians and artists. They were relocated to this safehouse and enrolled in an international private school, where they received intensive English language instruction. After 18 months of dedicated study, five girls from the safehouse earned full scholarships to private schools in New York. In August 2023, they arrived in New York to continue their education.

In the heart of Afghanistan, where the misogynist regime of the Taliban denied the school girls the fundamental right to learn and grow, AFCECO stands defiant in its commitment to provide an education for them.

Remote learning has been a big part of our education programs for many years. The generous contributions of sponsors and supporters who have stepped forward to teach these children online have been instrumental in this imitative. However, with the Taliban’s return to power in 2021, the importance of remote classes became important more than any period considering the unjust ban by the Taliban. AFCECO’s remote classes have become a lifeline for these young minds, especially for upper-grade students who find themselves on the brink of having their educational journeys cut short.

Each safehouse is now equipped with high-speed internet, uninterrupted solar power supply, and essential computer devices like laptops and tablets. This ensures that classes operate smoothly, providing a continuity in the students’ disrupted lives.

But it is not just about maintaining the status quo. AFCECO’s remote classes are a defiant response to an oppressive regime. By investing in technology and connectivity, AFCECO ensures that education is not confined to physical classrooms that can be closed off by edicts but exists in a boundless digital realm where learning is unassailable.

Every lesson taught is a strike against ignorance. Every book opened is a door to freedom. Support AFCECO’s remote classes and be part of the movement that whispers to every girl in Afghanistan: “Your dream of education is still alive—and we are here to help you chase it.

  • Sewing Machine
    Your generous gift of a purchasing a sewing machine for an Afghan widow will empower her to establish a sustainable living by setting up a tailoring business within her home. This enables her to generate income independently, and be safe from severe restrictions imposed by the Taliban on women working outside. This assistance enables women to send their children to school rather than having them enter the workforce as child laborers.
    $400.00
    Get a Gift
  • Food Package
    The severe poverty and stringent restrictions enforced by the Taliban have rendered the lives of Afghan women, especially widows, exceedingly difficult. A $400 food package, containing staples such as flour, cooking oil, rice, and other necessities, can sustain an average family for a three-month period. This assistance enables women to send their children to school rather than having them enter the workforce as child laborers.
    $400.00
    Get a Gift
  • Dairy Goats
    In Afghanistan’s villages, where 80% of the population live, raising livestock like dairy goats are the main sources of income. Gifting a rural woman with four dairy goats empowers her to create and sell dairy products in local market. Your generous gift establishes a sustainable way of life for her family but also frees her children from the bonds of child labor, allowing them the chance to attend school.
    $400.00
    Get a Gift

Contact Us