Annual Report 2009

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Message from Executive Director of HAWCA
On behalf of HAWCA, I would like to acknowledge all of the individuals and organizations for their great assistance in standing beside us to make HAWCA 10 years old. We started our work when the most misogynist regime of Taliban was in power. And it is really sad to say that Afghan women are still the very first victims of violence in all over the country. Still in Afghanistan, women are burning themselves in order to escape the everyday crimes committed on them. A huge number of children can’t go to school because their schools are burned; their life will be in risk if they go to school or there is no school at all. Child girls are raped but unfortunately the rapists are walking freely without the fear of being punished. But we never hope loose hope and the tears in the eyes of women and little innocent children of our country give us more energy to work.    

This year, HAWCA received the first ever international award of Emma Humphreys Memorial Prize (EHMP). Madam Emma Humphreys was a victim of the violence but her struggle and fight, made her a heroine. She didn’t remain silence and fought for her rights, and resulted in change of law in her country.  We send our salutes and respects to Madam Emma Humphreys and all women around the world who are fighting for their equal rights. We believe that this achievement has been done with the help of our donors, partners and supporters. And we would like to dedicate this award to all victims of violence in Afghanistan.

We were able to publish a book “Caged Bird: Stories from Safe House and Nadia Anjuman’s Poems” to let the world know about the plight still going on Afghan women and a tribute to Nadia Anjuman who was fighting for equality of women in society through her amazing poems. She will always have special place in our heart and we will never forget her.

HAWCA believes that without the cooperation of our direct and indirect beneficiaries we could not implement our projects even for a short time. Here we would to acknowledge their contribution and say that they are real heroes to us. 

At the end we would like to say that still there is a long way to go. Our people are sill suffering and still they are unable to save their lives in the cold weather of winter.

Selay Ghaffar

Table of Contents

About HAWCA
HAWCA Plans for Future
Safe House for Women at Risk
Jamila Micro-Credits Project (JMCP)
Assistance to the Afghan Ministry of Women Affairs, Vocational Training and Women Entrepreneurship (AVaWE)
Legal Aid Center for Female Victims of Violence – Herat
Legal Aid Center for Female Victims of Violence – Kabul
Peace Building Center for New Generation
CHW Training
Human Rights Awareness Training for Female Beneficiaries
Urgent Aids for Expelled Refugees from Iran
Capacity Building of Defense Lawyers on Family Law
Sponsorship Program
Other Activities

About HAWCA
Humanitarian Assistance for the Women and Children of Afghanistan (HAWCA) was established in January 1999 by a group of youth Afghan women and men. HAWCA's establishment was motivated by the despair and devastation suffered by Afghan women and children as victims of war and injustice in Afghanistan and as refugees in Pakistan. Living under the same conditions and experiencing the same misery as millions of Afghans in Afghanistan and in Pakistan during the civil war, the leading members of HAWCA committed to achieving their aims and objectives as volunteers, and devoted their efforts to improving the lives of Afghans under difficult circumstances, from the era of Taliban domination to today's insecure Afghanistan.

HAWCA encourages the active participation of Afghan women and youth in the reconstruction and development processes of their country, and works in partnership with institutions and organizations that focus on just development in Afghanistan.

It is worth to add that HAWCA currently holds the membership in the following local, national and regions networks:

•    Member at Afghan Women’s Network (AWN).
•    Member at Civil Society and Human Rights Network (CSHRN)
•    Member at Persian Speaking Women’s Network, which previously known as Persian Gender Network.
•    Member at Elimination of Violence Against women Group, organized by UNIFEM
•    Member at Coordination Cooperation Committee and National Shelter Network.
•    Member of Parliamentarian and Women Activist Network

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HAWCA Plans for Future
•    Continuing the projects of the previous year
•    Opening Legal Aid Center for Female Victims of Violence in Jalalabad
•    Opening Legal Aid Center for Female Victims of Violence in Mazar
•    Restarting the work of project AFGHANISTAN ITW
•    Working on different human rights manuals
•    Focusing on capacity building of HAWCA staff
•    Working on Security Policy/Plan/Procedure of HAWCA
•    Carrying out lobbying and advocacy activities
•    Enriching web site of HAWCA
•    Proposing of  3 Peace Building Centers for New Generation in Kabul
•    Proposing of projects regarding EVAW

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Safe House for Women at Risk
Project Type: Protection and Counseling
Project Location: Kabul
Duration of Project: Since February 2004
Donor of Project: UNIFEM - Afghanistan
Status of Project: Ongoing

HAWCA defines Safe House for Women at Risk as a temporary housing/ protection for those women or girls who have been abuse physically, psychological or mentally by family members, powerful communities members, warlords, officials or any,  and has not committed crime and need protection and those women who have no house to live (a temporary protection solution).

The women and girls at risk are being introduced to the safe house through MoWA by different organizations. Once under protection, HAWCA consider the women and girls at risk as its project beneficiaries. The beneficiaries are provided in the safe house accommodation, three times meal a day, cloths, medical assistance, education, vocational training and awareness about their rights, civilian rights and violence against women as well as counseling on legal rights.

The safe house receives beneficiaries from different provinces and sometimes from Iran and Pakistan as well, HAWCA policy is to promote tolerance among the beneficiaries and tries to assist them to learn about the basic values of democracy and human rights while living in the same environment. The beneficiaries are related to different tribes, families and religious, but the management staffs of safe house are behaving with them equally and empower them with the sense of cooperation with each other at all time.

The project implementation is carried out with collaboration of MoWA, donor organizations, UN agencies, civil society, security authorities, and legal authorities.

HAWCA is grateful to offer legal, health, vocational training, literacy and awareness services to all those women at risk. Numbers of women became able to read, write and learned some skill during their stays in the safe house. Up to now this honored that all of our cases solved successfully and re-integrated back to the society despite facing enormous challenges. This year HAWCA was able to find job for a number of beneficiaries that were not accepted by society again. A number of 112 women benefited during this year.

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Jamila Micro-Credits Project (JMCP)
Project Type: Promoting Income-Generating Activities
Project Location: Kabul
Duration of Project: Since 2005
Donor of Project: Fondazione Pangea Onlus
Status of Project: Ongoing

Jamila Micro-Credit Project is an initiative of Fondazione Pangea onlus (Pangea) Pangea Foundation has decided to focus its efforts on implementing a project to promote little domestic economics and to improve their status through micro-credit. The project targets very poor and vulnerable families, particularly women, widows, orphans, and those families living on less than two dollars a day.

In the year 2007 Pangea decided to work under the supervision of HAWCA in Afghanistan and handed over all of its activities and programs to HAWCA along with same previous staff. It was decided that HAWCA as implementing partner has the responsibility for the correct implementation of the project plus its management while Pangea will provide the financial support for the running of the project.

In this project, the potential beneficiaries are selected through local women's NGOs or directly on its own. Every local NGO chooses a lady from its own staff and nominates her as the responsible for the microfinance program inside the NGO. She will be responsible for the NGO in front of HAWCA. HAWCA train and supports her and follows the microfinance process of the local NGO under our supervision to implement the planned activities with beneficiaries and developing the relation of work with HAWCA.

HAWCA distributes micro credit to very poor and vulnerable women, selected among those who have gone to the local NGO or live near to the women center or directly selected by JMC office. The aim is to help them to implement their economic activities and improve their domestic life conditions and their knowledge about literacy, sanitation and civic education.

A fixed amount of money is paid in form of loan to each woman to start a small business and after a fixed period of time she has to give back the loan along with 5% interest. Then the next family is selected and this money is given to this new family and also the interest goes to micro credit. There are five centers through which we provide micro-credit to the beneficiaries. Two of them are run directly by us; and the other three centers run by local NGOs namely HPWO and AWRC. We also provide micro-credit to the families of a number of students studying in Ashiana.

This year, HAWCA provided loan to 272 women.

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Assistance to the Afghan Ministry of Women Affairs, Vocational Training and Women Entrepreneurship (AVaWE)
Project Type: Education and Promoting Income-Generating Activities
Project Location: Kabul, Afghanistan
Duration of Project: 2009
Donor of Project: Italian Cooperation
Status of Project: Ended

In December 2004 the Italian Cooperation (IC) Office in Kabul started a project in favor of Afghan vulnerable women in partnership with the Ministry of Women Affaires, both in Kabul and Baghlan.

Two professional training centers have been established in Kabul: i- Qala-e-Fatullah and ii- Women Garden Center.

In addition, the program established a nursery in the Women Garden premises for the children of the trainees, providing them proper care and meals as well as medical assistance. Furthermore, after completing one year training, each group of women elected a head, a deputy head and an administrator and then formed four small female enterprises, that were registered with AISA as following:

1- Nazo Ana: Mobile Repairing Company
2- Sultan Razia: Gems Cutting Company
3- Tolo- e – Shams: Solar Lantern Assembling Company.
4- Mushtari: Cooking and Catering Services Company

These business companies produce and market goods and service in order to reach economic self sufficiency. The beneficiaries were also assisted in opening bank accounts to deposit their income and run their business safely.

A central shop, provided by the MoWA, was also equipped where the companies can display and sell their products and services, as well as advertise their activities. Through this program, a kitchen was refurbished and furnished within the MoWA where the Mushtari Company now provides daily meals to about 300 employees of the Ministry and trainees of the cooking and catering course also opened a restaurant within the Women Garden opened to families.

In the start of year 2009, all of the activities of these projects in Kabul, were handed over to HAWCA and we implemented all of the activities in the first three months of year. There are 406 direct and 2436 indirect beneficiaries in this project.

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Legal Aid Center for Female Victims of Violence – Herat
Project Type: Protection and Counseling
Project Location: Herat, Afghanistan
Duration of Project: Since July 2009
Donor and Partner of Project: UNIFEM – Afghanistan, NCDO and Fayaz Foundation
Status of Project: Ongoing

HAWCA opened a legal aid clinic called “Legal Aid Center for Female Victims of Violence”, in Herat city in the month of July 2009. This project has been funded by EVAW Special Fund of UNIFEM Afghanistan and National Committee for International Cooperation and Sustainable Development (NCDO) with the help of an Afghan organization, Fayaz Foundation, based in Netherlands, active in lobbying and advocacy for human rights. This center works for the victims of domestic violence, sexual violence and harmful practices.

According to the national and international media, Herat has been reported as "The Center of Domestic Violence". Herat province has the highest rate of self-burning by women and girls in the whole Afghanistan. Last year, the hospitals in Herat reported that 150 women and girls who have burned themselves had been brought to hospital, but of course there are more cases that haven't been brought to the hospitals and other health center which are all the outcomes of different kind of violence in particular domestic violence. Another reason for selecting this area was because women from neighboring provinces of Farah, Kandahar, Nimroz, Ghor and Helmand would have the access to get legal assistance and legal advices. Right now, there is no legal aid center and safe houses in the above mentioned provinces. Therefore, HAWCA believes that establishment of legal aid center in Herat province is convenient for other provinces as well and victims of violence would find a source to help them get their rights and reach to courts and justice.

In this center, two lawyers with the help of under-graduate law students/practicing lawyers provide legal advice and assistance for women and girls who are victims of domestic and sexual violence and harmful practices. This legal center also provides legal trainings to the recently graduated law students and other women and girls. The content of the trainings for the law students is more focused on how to deal with their clients to gain their trust and help them out. Other professional trainings are also provided to them. We also have trainings for other women and girls. These trainings include the women rights in Afghanistan Constitution; International Law and etc. The trainers of these trainings are law professionals and lecturers from Law Faculty of university. Besides this the legal aid center tries to establish a close coordination and relation with organizations that provide legal aid and advice to females. During this period 52 women benefited from the legal assistance and 23 women from the psycho-social counseling of the center.

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Legal Aid Center for Female Victims of Violence – Kabul
Project Type: Protection and Counseling
Project Location: Kabul, Afghanistan
Duration of Project: Since December 2009
Donor and Partner of Project: Oxfam-Novib, British Embassy Kabul, NZAID and Fayaz Foundation
Status of Project: Ongoing

After the successful opening of "Legal Aid Center for Female Victims of Violence" in Herat City, HAWCA is opened another "Legal Aid Center for Female Victims of Violence" in Kabul City in December 2009. This project has been funded by Oxfam Novib, British Embassy in Kabul and NZAID with the help of an Afghan organization, Fayaz Foundation, based in Netherlands, active in lobbying and advocacy for human rights. This center works for the victims of domestic violence, sexual violence and harmful practices.

The opening ceremony of the center was on 8th Dec. 2009, where Mr. Ambassador himself along with Mr. Brett Bulling from British Embassy had participated in this event and was joined by member of other organizations like CSHRN, LAOA, AWN, Medica Mondiale, AIHRC, Family Court, ASDHA and other individuals. At first Selay Ghaffar, Executive of HAWCA, welcomed all of the guests and explained about the project and added that we are also planning to open more legal aid centers in other provinces of Afghanistan and these projects will be at least for next five years. Then Mr. Ambassador spoke about role of Government of Britain in EVAW in Afghanistan and expressed the full support of British Embassy in implementation of HAWCA’s legal aid centers. Representatives of CSHRN, LAOA and Medica Mondiale also spoke during this event. 

In this center, two lawyers with the help of under-graduate law students/practicing lawyers provide legal advice and assistance for women and girls who are victims of domestic and sexual violence. This legal center also provides legal trainings to the recently graduated law students and other women and girls. The content of the trainings for the law students is more focused on how to deal with their clients to gain their trust and help them out. Other professional trainings is also provided to them. We also have trainings for other women and girls. These trainings include the women rights in Afghanistan Constitution; International Law and etc. The trainers of these trainings are law professionals and professors from Law Faculty of Kabul University. Besides this the legal aid center tries to establish a close coordination and relation with organizations that provide legal aid and advice to females.

All beneficiaries of the project are women and girls who are facing violence and are in need of legal assistant. HAWCA provides help to the victims of domestic violence, sexual violence and harmful practices. The lawyer with help of practicing lawyer are providing legal assistant and legal advices for all beneficiaries regardless of religion, language, ethnicity, culture and others.

HAWCA tries to establish connection with some public and private hospitals for the treatment of some beneficiaries who are in bad condition. Some beneficiaries also get benefit from small funding through this project for their treatment if their financial ability for treatment was very low or belong to very poor families.  A psychologist provides psychosocial support to the individual beneficiaries of the project. As a clear fact and the experience we have almost all victims of violence suffering from psychological diseases, depression and stress. HAWCA tries to raise awareness of the staff first and then the beneficiaries on human women's rights and legal awareness. All laws, convention, declarations and other materials on human women\s right will be providing for them.

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Peace Building Center for New Generation
Project Type: Education and Peace Building
Project Location: Parwan, Afghanistan
Duration of Project: 2009
Donor of Project: ICCO
Status of Project: Ongoing

This project aims to promote peace building and conflict resolution among the children of the communities in Malik Jan Kheel village and 5 villages surrounding located at Jabil Saraj district of Parwan province in north part of Afghanistan. The project has 224 beneficiaries' girls and boys and around 7000 indirect beneficiaries as families of students and staffs. The study program helps girls and boys children in an after school program. This project accepts those children who are attending primary schools from 1st to 6th grade. Within 12 months the children are expected to learn about the methods of conflict resolution and promoting peace within their families as well as their communities. The project is supervised by an experienced and highly trained staff member and HAWCA main office will carry out monitoring and evaluation of the program on regular basis. The local communities living in a deep poverty and on day-to-day work are not in the position to contribute materially to the project; however HAWCA makes sure to get their commitment as local community to protect and support the centre’s reputation in the location and collaborate in the overall management of the centre.

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CHW Training
Project Type: Health
Project Location: Bamyan, Afghanistan
Duration of Project: Since 2008
Donor of Project: AIDOS
Status of Project: Ongoing

In CHW trainings, the duration for training is for two months and as each training finishes we will select new students to be trained as CHWs. As HAWCA is a women headed NGOs and our target beneficiaries are women and children and we are working in country which is suffering from 30 years of war, so we have also included raising awareness training in course curriculum. Every day, students study for three hours in the afternoon; in first one hour they are following raising awareness program that includes women rights, children rights, human rights and Elimination of Violence against Women (EVAW) that has become a very important issue in Afghanistan. In the second two hours they are studying CHW curriculum that has been certified by Ministry of Public Health Afghanistan.

Besides the CHW training the medical team that forms a mobile health team goes to the surrounding villages one day a week to check up the patients and provides them with medicines.

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Human Rights Awareness Training for Female Beneficiaries
Project Type: Education and Awareness Raising
Project Location: Kabul
Duration of Project: 2009
Donor of Project: UUSC
Status of Project: Ended

This activity aimed to raise awareness of human rights in general and women rights in particular among women who are beneficiaries our different projects in Kabul. The women after attending the literacy course, remained in the course and received one hour human rights awareness. A number of 100-150 women attended the course twice a week for one hour. As most of them are house wives so it's impossible for them to attend 5 days a week. This helped the women to become aware of their social and civil rights and ways solving conflicts in peaceful way and to know about their basic rights and help them to get empowered in the working areas struggling if there is any discrimination and find way to get ride of violence and ways to reach to courts and justice.

The following topics were taught during the trainings:
•    What's universal human rights declaration
•    What is women rights in lights of Afghanistan constitution, international conventions, in according to law and Islam
•    Different convention such as CEDAW
•    What is conflict and conflict resolution
•    How to find legal solution to the problem according to Afghan law and constitution
•    And etc

The curriculum of the training was prepared by HAWCA trainers with the help of education and human rights department of main office.

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Urgent Aids for Expelled Refugees from Iran
Project Type: Emergency Response Aids
Project Location: Nimrooz
Duration of Project: 2009
Donor of Project: Insieme Si Puo’...
Status of Project: Ended

In the last years, the government of Iran has expelled many Afghan refugees from Iran. In the year 2008, it reached to its peak when they expelled 15,000 refugees at once despite the freezing weather of winter.

An email of HAWCA explaining the miserable situation of the expelled refugees from Iran, that had been sent to Insieme Si Puo’… an Italian organization mostly working in Africa, was translated into Italian and published in the newspaper. This helped for the collection of donations mostly by individuals.

HAWCA decided to use this fund for an urgent aid in Nimrooz, a western province of Afghanistan, acting as hub for the expelled refugees. HAWCA did the urgent aid which included flour and cooking oil for a number of 400 families. This urgent aid was done in two areas of the Nimrooz Province where there are high concentration of refugees. The first area was in the north-east of Zaranj city, which is the center of the Nimrooz Province and the second area was south-east of Chakhansoor District which is located on the high way of Zaranj-Delaram joining Nimrooz Province to other provinces like Farah and Herat. Most of the refugees are coming to Zaranj. If they find a job in Nimrooz, they stay there otherwise move to other provinces in search of job or go to their native province. Most of the Afghan refugees in Iran are busy in construction works or other difficult job that some times even takes their life. Although the Government of Iran has very harsh behabiour with refugees but still Afghans are going to Iran to find a job and fill the stomach of their families and save them from dying out of hunger.

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Capacity Building of Defense Lawyers on Family Law
Project Type: Education and Awareness Raising
Project Location: Herat
Duration of Project: 2009
Donor of Project: British Embassy Kabul
Status of Project: Ended

HAWCA decided to spend the money that had been raised through the British Embassy Summer Ball event 2009 and the grant that has been donated from the Embassy's Welfare and Charities fund, on training for capacity building of the defense lawyers and law students of the Legal Center for Female Victims of Violence plus students from Law Faculty of Herat University. There were 18 trainees plus three trainers and training was conducted for six days. The three trainers trained the lawyers and practicing lawyers on how to file a case, how to write a defense of a case, how to defense a case in the court, basics of legal issues in accordance with Afghanistan constitution, laws and international conventions and many other topics that could help the defense lawyer to increase their knowledge and help them to assist the victims of violence in a professional ways. The trainers were professors from the law faculty of Herat University.

The venue of training was provided by Law Faculty of Herat University for free as contribution to encourage more trainings and workshop to be held for students. At first Basir Adel thank the entire participant for giving their time to this workshop and explained about EVAW program of HAWCA. He also put a quick light on summer ball contribution of the British Embassy and then Mr. Ghulam Shah, Head of Law and Political Science Faculty, thanked HAWCA and British Embassy for conducting this workshop and showed his full support and dedication.

The contents of the training were as following:

1-    Reviewing the contents of family law within civil law;
2-    Different forms of divorce in family law;
3-    Formation of courts in all over Afghanistan;
4-    Filing cases from start till end;
5-    International human rights law;
6-    Interviewing with clients to reach the reality;
7-    Demonstration of court by trainees.

At the end all trainees were given a certificate for completing this course.

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Sponsorship Program
Project Type: Sponsorship
Project Location: Kabul
Donor of Project: Individual Supporters
Status of Project: Ongoing

Since HAWCA’s establishment in 1999, we are running this project in order to support individual families, children and women so they can have a normal. For example, we are supporting children so they go back to school instead of collecting useful stuff from garbage or being a labor child. In this program, HAWCA is acting as a bridge between the sponsoring person and sponsored person.  During the year 2009, HAWCA with the help of individuals and supporters managed to sponsor several girls and boys. Each month a fixed amount of money is given to the kids in the condition that they have to go to school and score good grades in their exams. There some special cases in our sponsorship project that HAWCA with help of its foreign supporters has helped them to be operated in Europe or being treated here in Afghanistan.

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Other Activities
In the year 2009, HAWCA members participated in many national and international workshops, conferences and other events. Some of the important ones are as following:
•    On March 21-25, 2009, Selay Ghaffar participated in the workshop on CEDAW and Shadow Report arranged by IWEAW and SANGAT in New Delhi – India.
•    On May 2-13, 2009, Selay Ghaffar was amongst the Afghan delegation representing UPR to OHCHR in Geneva – Switzerland.
•    On October 22-25, 2009, Selay Ghaffar, participated as head of Afghan delegation, in Asia Pacific NGO Forum on Beijing+15, Quezon City – Philippine.

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