Here you'll get return about a project to be studied during my stay in Afghanistan. It's been tentatively
named "Bagh-e Zanana dar Herat", the women's park in Herat?
WHAT IT IS ALL ABOUT
This is a short description of our intents in French... and in English !
MEET THE PEOPLE IN THE PROJECT
Olivier Guillaume (firstname.lastname@example.org) is 'Conseiller de coopération et d'action culturelle, correspondant humanitaire' (i.e. cooperation and cultural officer, humanitarian correspondant) with the French embassy in Kabul. His support for a women shelter pilot seems even more important than what I had perceived in Paris from the Ministry's representatives. This is a good surprise. The bad news is that the embassy is to downsize its staff during the summer.
To mean action, the French embassy now launches a call for tenders (here in French and in English) for micro projects aiming at improving self reliance among particular groups of defavorised people, such as children, women, disabled persons, etc... Projects are to be submitted to the French embassy, which consults with a body of local representatives. This process allows for up to 35.000 euros per project. One million euros is presently available.
Michel Tabib (email@example.com) is the A.D.S.I. head of mission in Kabul. ADSI is the French NGO which conducted the Kabul Women's garden rehabilitation. Work in progress at Kabul's WG consists of planting trees, building a sports center and organizing training sessions. ADSI also conducts the building of AIHRC's premisses in Gardez (Paktia, south of Kabul). The organisation would be open to launch a new project.
Farida Akram (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a teacher with the French public education, presently on a mission with the French embassy in Kabul. At present, she addresses the women situation and surveys various projects concerning women. One of her counterparts is Dr. Sima Samar of the AIHRC. A piece of land has been spotted in the Karte Se area to start a pilot. But some legal issue have arisen for it to be available. Besides social acceptability, which she considers a minor problem, the difficulty in running women shelters would be sustainability. How can such a place be self reliant? How can the sheltered women gain autonomy and start a new life? Education and training would be needed, together with workshops, health facilities, nursery services. Jobs which could suit uneducated women would have to be sorted out, such as in the food or the garnment industries. Such jobs are dearly in need.
Najia Zewari (email@example.com) is Senior national programme officer, Gender and Justice, at UNIFEM in Kabul. A monthly coordination meeting about women shelters is being held in Kabul. No records seems to be kept. It sounds like some thorough thought is being conducted on this issue. UNIFEM has recently issued a booklet about tradition related gender discriminations.
Bertrand Ricard (firstname.lastname@example.org) is Agriculture manager for the cotton project in Afghanistan (8 provinces in the North of the country). The cotton industry used to be Afghanistan's third source of income, and Afghan cotton was well known for its quality, a product of Afghan-French cooperation. The Afghan governement insisted that France should restart this industry, and Bertrand, an agronomist, is working on it. The present cotton factories don't employ female work force, but why not in the future... It could be an objective for women to gain self reliance.