Many of you have been following our work in Badakhshan and are interested to know what our plans are for PARSA projects in the province. Badakhshan is one of the poorest regions of Afghanistan and has some of the most alarming statistics regarding issues like healthcare, education, women’s rights, a poor economy, and extremely high rates of of orphaned children or children abandoned by their families who are unable to care for them. Yet due to its remote location Badkahshan has largely remained out of the worst of the conflicts of the past thirty years, and its people remain open-minded and open to outside assistance.
For that reason we see Badakhshan as a province where we could be as successful as we have been in Bamiyan, where the situation is similar. Hence the programs that we are planning to establish in Badakhshan will take what we have learned in Bamiyan and follow our successes there.
Our first initiative will be to establish a Trade Afghan Women’s Center. This will serve two purposes: firstly, to establish economic opportunities for women artisans. Women from Faizabad and the participating villages will be transported in and out of our women’s center where they will receive training in regionally appropriate trades and learn basic business skills. We will train them in products that we will then purchase to sell nationally and internationally through our Trade Afghan product line. Secondly the women’s center will serve as an alternative to the national orphanage that will provide housing for the twenty or so girls who are unable to live in the orphanage due to lack of female staff and space.
Another focus for Badakhshan will be to continue to expand and improve our Scout program in the province, both by working with our current troop in the National Orphanage and by establishing a new girls troop, likely with the girls who will live in our women’s center. All our Scouts will be involved in our Voice of Afghan Youth programming. We have decided to focus our VoAY for Badakhshan on highlighting the world famous wildlife and nature of the province – from 7000m mountains to snow leopards, Marco Polo sheep and other rare creatures.
Lastly, we are working to ensure that the residents of Argo who suffered losses in the landslides of earlier this year are not forgotten. When we visited recently we were frustrated by the lack of progress and that the promises of government officials and those who handled the multi-million dollar donations have not been kept. We are following up with the situation and have already registered an official complaint with the government regarding this issue, and are looking to President Ghani who is working to improve Rule of Law to take a personal concern in this issue.
Everyone at PARSA loves Badakhshan province and we are very passionate about establishing PARSA projects there. Stay tuned to learn more about our progress, and help us by donating to our Badakhshan project through our Help Us page.