Shamsa Village Orphanage

Shamsa Village was developed by a long-time friend of PARSA, Mariam Gailani, as a model orphanage based on the “SOS” orphanage system. In this type of orphanage 12-15 children live with a “mother” in a home setting and learn to live as a family. PARSA has worked with Mariam and her staff to develop and expand Shamsa Village for over five years now, ensuring that all social workers and “mothers” on staff are trained in the Healthy Afghan Child Program, and specifically in how to support children who have lost their families. PARSA is now expanding our role at Shamsa Village with the establishment of a Cub Scout Troop, providing a life skills and sports program, as well as an effort to support Shamsa staff by bringing the kids to PARSA on Fridays to work with volunteers  – a unique opportunity not only for the children, who have the opportunity for a weekly outing, but also for the Kabul community, who get a rare chance to volunteer and connect with local children.

Steps Ahead

Shamsa Village OrphanageShamsa’s Steps Ahead program is a pilot program that PARSA is developing after many years of working in orphanages training staff, monitoring health and augmenting support for education and medical programs. We have discovered that most orphanages are able to cover the bare minimum for the children to live. The children go to national schools which usually is inadequate for such a vulnerable population. We have marked out our contribution to be programs that develop education and vocation for the children so that they can be ready to transition out of the orphanages when they are adult. We have also provided skilled experts to work on health, psychosocial health and insuring that orphanage staff are managing a “child friendly” environment. We facilitate volunteers visits, partnerships with other agencies, advocacy with the government and I have started to work with the upper level management to develop their own fundraising program to provide the programs we provide in 2016. This program will be part of what we work on the national level as a part of the presidents Committee for Orphanage Reform and our work in Shamsa Village gives us an opportunity for “hands on” training for my staff in preparation for the time that we will help implement it nationally.

Friday Volunteer Project

The goals of this volunteering project are in line with the theory behind our Healthy Afghan Child Program. An outing, meeting volunteers, and the opportunity to take part in exciting activities on Friday afternoons, when most other Afghan children are occupied with family, gives the children at Shamsa an immeasurable boost and something to look forward to each week. Having friends outside the orphanage gives the children a new sense of perspective and understanding of their city. Most importantly, activities are planned in ways that highlight the strengths of each individual child and of the Afghan culture as a whole. This helps foster a sense of value and self-confidence within the children.

A secondary positive outcome of this program is that it gives members of the Kabul community a chance to give back to the city in a direct way, as well as to learn about the situation of the city’s orphans. The program provides an arena for like-minded Kabulis to connect in an environment conducive to creative innovation in the spirit of community service.


7 Replies to “Shamsa Village Orphanage”

  1. Pingback: Shamsa - bethany lerch

  2. Richard Elliott


    Every year I involve my school in fundraising for an organization in a different part of the world. My purpose it to assist the organization, to expand my own understanding of the world, and to film the country/organization to show my students how others live. I wish to travel to Afghanistan in September with materials donated by my school and transferring money raised by my school.

    A link introducing me is​

    Would you be interested in me visiting your organization and if so, what materials, supplies, etc, you would like me to bring?

    I don’t need anyone to meet me but would like an indication as to how I might travel outside of Kabul. What local transport is available?


    Richard Elliott
    Jurien Bay District High School

    • Marnie Gustavson

      I am late in replying to this. Is this note still relevant? If so I will respond by email. Warm regards, Marnie

  3. Rose Traupman Rodriguez

    Hello, I am Rose, General David Rodriguez’s wife. I know the General visits the children every Sunday. He always tells me about them. It looks like Samsa Village is a very happy and nice place. I would very much like to visit you there. I look forward to hearing back from you.

    Rose Traupman Rodriguez

  4. Ross McLeod

    Good evening ,

    My name is Ross McLeod , I’m a 26 year old man from the north east of England.

    I’ve done some research into the incredible work you do and the positive affect you have on so many lives.

    Myself and a friend are really interested in some volunteering work around the world in all different countries.

    Would there be any areas we can offer any support ?

    We will be funding travel expenses ourselves but would also like to raise support and awareness on the unbelievable work that you and so many other orphanages do.

    Kindest Regards
    Ross McLeod

    • Marnie Gustavson

      Sorry for the late reply. We will be organizing a volunteer trip and subsequent activities this spring and I will set up to put you on the list. We are open to this for the first time this year. I am very happy you reached out. I will put you on our special list for volunteering. My warm regards, Marnie


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *