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PROJECTS & PROGRAMS

Current Projects

Raqim Foundation End of the Year Appeal


Raqim Foundation distributes merit Certificates to Top Students at the TCOW Schools in October 2016


RF's Telemedicine Project taking Shape in Kalakan

Raqim Foundation's telemedicine pilot project, which aims to make health care accessible to the rural poor using modern telecommunications technology, is beginning to take shape in the Kalakan district of Kabul Province. We have already started seeing patients for various ailments, including mental health, and just signed a Memorandum Of Understanding with Afghan Education for a Better Tomorrow (AEBT), who will provide technical expertise; and the Afghan Medical Professional Association of America, who will offer medical education assistance by professional doctors to consult patients in Afghanistan. RF will provide all the telemedicine equipment and the necessary space to house the platform. We also intend to send our representative in Afghanistan to India for comprehensive training with World Health Partners (WHP), a leading non-profit provider of telehealth services. WHP has graciously agreed to show our representative how to apply their proven methods, which have been so successful in India, in Afghanistan - basic knowledge which will then be used to train Afghan villagers so that the project becomes self-sustaining.

RF also has a key partner, Afshar Hospital in Kabul, that will be linked up to our telemed platform in Kalakan via satellite. Once we reach a certain level of success, it is our hope to scale up the project and reach even more people in remote areas across Afghanistan who are in desperate need of health care.

Raqim Foundation Collaborates with 4 Afghan NGOs to help the Badakhshan Earthquake Victims

RF helps in the Construction/Renovation of Masjid in remote Paktia Province

To improve the quality of life for the impoverished villagers of Peer Qala in the Sayed Karam district of Paktia Province, Raqim Foundation has helped in the construction/renovation of the Peer Qala Masjid, the only house of worship in that remote locality about 130 km away from Kabul. While the masjid is central to the village, offering religious and spiritual nourishment, it's much more than a place of worship. It also houses the only school for children (boys and girls) in that immediate area; and serves as a community center for the people of the village, catering to their most basic needs - including offering travelers a place to sleep at night. An old underground heating system manages to keep the masjid relatively warm and comfortable during the harsh winter months and chilly evenings.

The Peer Qala masjid had fallen into a state of disrepar and needed renovation and reconstruction.

Raqim Foundation helped construct a well for the masjid a couple of years ago - important because of the scarcity of potable water in that region. While the villagers provided money and labor to the extent they were able to, RF followed up its previous assistance by making available to them, among the most vulnerable and most neglected people in Paktia, a grant this year with which they were able to fortify the walls of the masjid, using plaster and other means, and reinforce the building's existing foundations. Windows, doors and a a hall were added to the second floor. Other door frames were also rebuilt and a washroom and small bathroom were constructed near the place of ablution. For the masjid's main hall, a large prayer rug was purchased, along with curtains for the windows, both of which lend the room a pleasant and welcoming atmosphere. Seeing the villagers' reaction to the renovated masjid and community center is heartwarming. The Peer Qala Masjid had fallen into a state of disrepair and urgently needed an extensive renovation and expansion. Raqim Foundation was extremely pleased and humbled by the opportunity to offer them a helping hand.

RF purchased a Prayer Rug and new Curtains for the Masjid's main hall.

Windows and Doors were constructed on the Second floor.

 

RF's 2014 Women's Poultry Project

   
   

TCOW students receiving annual RF merit certificates for outstanding academic achievement

   
   

RF's 2014 Ramadan Appeal

1028 Lakeridge Place. San Ramon, CA 94582
Raqim Foundation is a 501{c}{3} organization [Tax Id# 55-0885953]

 

Appeal for Donation for Badakhshan Disaster Relief

RF collaborates with TCOW and HRF to help the victims of the Badakhshan Landslides

 

 

 

RF's Badakhshan Landslide Disaster Relief Effort [Download Document]

 

Urgent Appeal for Donations to Landslide Victims in Badakshan

The recent landslide in the Argo district of Badakhshan Province, Afghanistan, buried more than 300 people under thousands of tons of mud and left thousands displaced and homeless.  In addition to losing their breadwinners, many innocent survivors are desperate to find adequate food and shelter and live in open spaces under extremely difficult conditions.  The humanitarian situation of the affected population is heartbreaking.

The Paiwand Organization, based in Southern California, has asked Raqim Foundation, which has a track record of extending humanitarian and disaster relief assistance to various provinces in Afghanistan, to collect donations to provide for the immediate needs of those affected by this calamity.

Given the urgency of this relief operation, the following account has been opened by Raqim Foundation to channel donations to the victims of the recent landslide in Argo.

1. Payment via Account Transfer:

Account Name: Raqim Foundation
Bank Name: Chase Bank
Account Number: 590637919
Routing Number: 021000021
SWIFT Code (for foreign remittances only): CHASUS33

Bank Address:
3104 Crow Canyon Place, Suite A
San ramon, CA 94583
Telephone: (925) 866 1900

2. Payment via Check:

You can also make a Check Payable to:
 
Raqim Foundation
1028 Lakeridge Place
San Ramon, CA 94582

3. Payment via PayPal:

 

 

Sarghailan Health Clinic is Thriving

   
   
   
   

The clinic has a total of 8 rooms and serve about 45 villages of average 50-70 homes. Recently, the Ministry of Public Health has appointed a new doctor and new mid-wife.

According to a new report launched by Care of Afghan Family (CAF), an Afghan NGO, the percentage of institutional deliveries in health facilities in Shuhada District reached more than 70% in 2012. This figure was nearly zero in 2008 when the clinic was inaugurated. There are a total of three health clinics in Shuhada district of which two were financed by USAID and the third one - the Sarghailan Clinic - was established with the help of Raqim Foundation.


Raqim Foundation's Telemedicine Project Set For Launch In Kalakan!

   
   
   
   
   
   

These latest photos from the Mushwani Health clinic in Kalakan show the satellite dish, computer hookup, the solar panels that power the platform, the room where patients will be treated, and exterior views of the clinic. This is a momentous occasion, as the poverty stricken people of this remote area will finally be able to receive medical assistance from the top health care providers/ hospitals in the country through a satellite link, something that could not even be imagined a few years ago.


It is with profound sadness that we announce the passing of Dr. Charles Maclean, a dear friend and a valued member of Raqim Foundation's Advisory Board. Charles's contributions are too numerous to list here, but he will be sorely missed and always remembered for his kind and gentle spirit.


Raqim Foundation helps construct a deep water well in Nangarhar Province that services a Masjid and a School (Fall 2013)

RF/GPFA Watershed Project Completed In Afghanistan

Our Collaboration With TCOW -- A Letter Of Appreciation

Raqim Foundation's Watershed Project Making Difference

TCOW Certificates of Merit

Click Here to View Certificate

Raqim Foundation dug Well at Batikoot Ragha Village

A deep well was dug in Sept-October 2012 by Raqim Foundation for the people of Batikoot Ragha village of Nangarhar Province. The photos show the construction site of the Masjid and the well. Hundreds of people are using the water for drinking and other home uses.

Raqim Foundation helps build a clean water well in Kuchi Township

With the help of Raqim Foundation, a deep water well bringing potable water to the villagers of Kuchi Township has just been completed. Access to clean water is a challenge for many in Afghanistan. Without water, it's much harder to grow food, and dirty water brings disease. We know that this well will impact many lives and we hope that it will end the needless suffering.

Great News To Start 2012!

We are pleased to announce that the Raqim Foundation recently received a very generous donation which was matched by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, one of the largest private foundations in the US. The MacArthur Foundation supports many promising nonprofit initiatives globally, focusing, among other things, on community development, sustainable development, and population and reproductive health. We welcome their support and are humbled by their recognition of our continuing efforts to lift the most vulnerable people in Afghanistan out of poverty. Building on our work over the past 5 years, we expect 2012 to be just as successful, as we explore exciting possibilities in Telemedicine and education.

RF Publishes 11th Century Masterpiece by Abdullah Ansari of Herat, a Sufi Master

Front Cover
Back Cover

Raqim Foundation has printed for the first time ever, from Arabic to English, the translation of Abdullah Ansari's Stations of the Wayfarers, a masterpiece by one of the most influential Sufi philosophers. In publishing this book, a project that has taken two years to complete, Raqim Foundation is promoting Afghanistan's rich cultural heritage and introducing this towering figure to the West. Ansari (1006-1089 C.E.) influenced many illustrious Eastern mystics, including the legendary Rumi from Balkh.

The book sheds light on how adoration of the One and Only God uplifted men and women to new spiritual heights, and led them on a step-by-step journey until they could go a transformation towards the most advanced stages of the path to the Divine.

To Purchase Ansari’s Stations of the Wayfarers, please contact:

Rumi Bookstore

4050B Peralta Blvd
Fremont California 94536

Tel: 510 744 3692
Fax: 510 744 3693

Price: $20.00

You can also purchase the book directly by visiting the Rumi Bookstore website:  http://rumibookstore.com/product_details/viewProductDetails/858/1


Raqim Foundation's 2011 Winter Relief Distribution in Afghanistan

   
   

Boosting Aid for Farmers in Afghanistan

To Dana Freyer, economic development is the ultimate solution to a stable Afghanistan.

The retired partner of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom is giving a $60,000 challenge donation to the GlobalPartnership for Afghanistan, an environmental and economic development organization she helped launch inAfghanistan in 2004. For every dollar the organization raises, she will match the donations up to $60,000.

The bulk of the donation comes from a $50,000 award she won last month called the Purpose Prize, which is given out by nonprofit think tank Civic Ventures to recognize social entrepreneurs in the second half of their lives.

Ms. Freyer's ties to Afghanistan go back to the late 1960s when she worked as an assistant to the Afghan ambassador to the United Nations when he served as president of the U.N. General Assembly.

In 1972, she and her husband, Bruce, took a year abroad after law school and drove through the country.

"We saw lush hillsides dotted with nuts and almond forests and fruit trees, received unparalleled Afghan hospitality and fell in love with the country," Ms. Freyer says.

During the 30 years of war and conflict that followed, however, she says the country was destroyed. "There's a shared feeling that the U.S. has abandoned Afghanistan on several occasions and left the country as a wasteland," she says. "We kept thinking, how can we help Afghanistan move from being an incubator of terrorists to a responsible nation with the viable farming economy of its past?"

So in 2003, the Scarsdale, N.Y., couple teamed up with New York University economics professor Ishaq Nadiri and a former Afghan ambassador to Pakistan, Mohammad Anwar Anwarzai, to develop Global Partnership for Afghanistan.

The group raised $150,000, hired two Afghan employees, and in 2004 began working with 60 small farmers inGuldara District of the Shomali Plain, an hour north of Kabul.

The goal was to revitalize existing orchards, vineyards and woodlots that had been destroyed during the variousconflicts. "We found that 80% of Afghans live off the land. Agriculture had been a huge driver of the economy," Ms. Freyersays. "Without income from the land, education would be of little value and jobs would be unsustainable."

Now, the organization has a $3.5 million annual budget and employs 180 Afghan staff members. It is working to boost the income of 150,000 farmers in 12 provinces in horticulture, agro forestry, reforestation, vegetable production and water management.

Most of the provinces in which the Global Partnership for Afghanistan are working in "aren't in areas at war," Ms. Freyer says. "There are many parts of the country where people are simply trying to go about rebuilding their lives," she says.

In addition to working with individual farmers, the organization is developing training and curriculum to teach agriculture and watershed rehabilitation at regional universities. It is also helping university faculty work within their own communities to teach farmers about irrigation, horticulture and forestry.

In 2011, the group will work with the Afghan government to help create a new township for 70,000 Kuchi families, or Afghan nomads, that are settling outside of Kabul.

"We will help develop an agricultural enterprise in the new township and teach the Kuchi people, most of which are herders and don't have experience in farming, how to create a sustainable living," Ms. Freyer says.

Write to Shelly Banjo at shelly.banjo@wsj.com


Raqim Foundation and GPFA Collaboration making a difference in Afghanistan

 

Shipment of goods to Afghanistan

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Following up on our three-tiered relief operation of last year, Raqim Foundation, with the tremendous support of International Orphan Care and numerous tireless volunteers in the state of California, has collected between 150,000 - 170,000 pounds of new or slightly used clothing, and 50 sets of PC's and printers. These goods have been shipped to Afghanistan and are being distributed in the neediest provinces. The above photos are from our distribution drive in Logar province.The above photos are from our

This unprecedented shipment (in terms of volume) comes at a time when the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan is deepening, as much of the country continues to be convulsed by violence and the government remains politically paralyzed and economically hamstrung: millions of impoverished Afghans – the enormity of their suffering is almost beyond human comprehension -- have been left to fend for themselves and are in desperate need of help. The winter months are especially cruel, as frigid temperatures and massive snowfalls descend on the region, unleashing outbreaks of disease and an array of other unfortunate calamities. Many children and the elderly freeze to death each year senselessly because they simply can’t keep warm due to a lack of shelter, blankets and adequate clothing. And the amount of aid reaching the country is considerably less than what it will take to protect the millions of vulnerable Afghans at highest risk.

Our principal concern was to deliver these items before the onset of winter in Afghanistan, which typically occurs around mid-November. So we assembled an experienced team on the ground in Afghanistan and made preparations well in advance so that our Winter Relief Campaign would proceed as smoothly as possible.

Raqim Foundation's winter relief shipment, the largest private shipment of goods transported by USAID to Afghanistan, is now nearing completion. It's been a rousing success, reaching some of the most underserved, remote provinces in Afghanistan, and has garnered plenty of local media coverage. Thousands of people in these poverty-stricken regions have flocked to our distribution points and received an assortment of goods which will hopefully make their harsh lives a little more bearable. (Photographs are posted on our website.)

This unprecedented shipment has taken almost ten months to complete and would not have come to fruition without the generosity and valuable assistance of many volunteers, both in the United States and in Afghanistan. On behalf of our Board of Directors, I would like to take this opportunity to single out several individuals whose contributions deserve special mention: Mr. John Ayam, who devoted so much of his precious time and resources, and Mr. Heward Wardak, who assisted him; Ms.Nazi Etemadi, who selflessly spent countless hours collecting most of these goods; and Mr.Sarwary, who donated all the PC's and printers. In Afghanistan our relief efforts were organized and led by Mr. Zundigul Zamani and Mr. Mansoor Zamani, both of GPFA, Mr Azizi of TCOW, and Mr. Asad Mojadiddi. Their careful planning and distribution of the goods in hazardous conditions is remarkable and inspirational. H.E. Abdul Qadeer Fitrat helped us navigate the bureaucratic maze in Afghanistan. God bless them all. 

Raqim Foundation's Vocation Training program up and running in Kabul Orphanage!

Objectives at inception:

Upon my arrival in Kabul on Aug 17 2008 I met with Mr. Ahmady who is Principal of Kabul   orphanage and went over Raqim Foundation and our proposal in regards to Vocational training. Mr. Ahmady was very pleased and on behalf of Kabul Orphanage  expressed his happiness and appreciation for the good cause and Raqim Foundation's sincere approach to this project.

As suggested by Mr. Ahmadi we talked about students, grades and ages for boys and girls and their qualification for AutoCAD and land Surveying training. The age of students are between  7 to 16 years old . There are couple of students in 10th grade and many in 9th grade and below.

Some students are familiar with English language as it is thought as a subject in their schools. As far as Computer and  technical knowledge about AutoCAD  and  Survey there is need for pre vocational training classes.

After students evaluation we both came to the conclusion to establish two English classes and one computer class for those students who are good candidates for the Vocational training in the above two areas.  We both came to a conclusion to get two English classes and on computer class. I asked Mr. Ahmady to look for some local teachers  in both fields. He interviewed some university students who are in need of such job. He hired two  English teachers and  one computer teacher.

What is AutoCAd?

AutoCAD is a CAD (Computer Aided Design or Computer Aided Drafting) software application for 2D and 3D design and drafting.

Why  AutoCAD in Afghanistan?

R.F.  funded vocational training of AutoCAD program designed to provide marketable jobs skills.  The successful training program took place in Kabul Orphanage    R.F.plans to expand vocational training to more youth in many other orphanages throughout Afghanistan .

Achievements to date and time period:

As of September 1st 2008 all classes have been started and going very well.  These classes will go on at least for a year as suggested  in my meeting with the principal and other staff member of Kabul Orphanage. Upon completion of our first year  and  reevaluation of  students who attended and successfully completed the classes a selective number of students will be assigned to our Survey and AutoCAD training courses. Further more I  came to conclusion to send one students who in in attending  Kabul University  to be enrolled to a local AutoCAD and Survey private school for upcoming training courses .

Successful completion of R.F. AutoCAD classes.

 In February 2010 R.F. First graduates of AutoCAD classes successfully completed their vocational training. The number of gradates were 6 students who are ready to take the lead for the next class of AutoCAD. Every two students will be responsible for one class of 6 more new trainees. By the end of 2010 there will be 18 fully trained students.

 

English classes and AutoCAD  training.

 There have been good progress. As per my own observation and analyses these classes to be continued for another sex months. Mohammad Fahim Ludin has finished the first part of training  in AutoCad and will go under extensive training by Murtaza Asghari(One of my students) who is very experienced with Survey and AutoCAD . I hope within two more months Mr. Ludin will be ready to start the AutoCAD classes for 4 additional students.

Total cost at this stage and how much was given at the inception, and equipment:

There have been some changes in regards to project associated cost . I will submit a new Budget proposal for review and approval by September 26th . I have paid the salaries in advance for four months and for some equipments . Special lunch was provided for KOC  students and staff including labors building the new  widows shelters . KOC has wages standards and would like not to exceed the average salaries significantly for the new teachers. On the other hand it is difficult to find teacher for English , computer and technical training for the amount offered by KOC. The standard salary for teachers are about $70.00 (seventy) dollars a month .  I  told Mr. Ahmady that we will honor the standards and will contribute additional amount to those who are not willing to work for such amount separately . For one instructor who is a very good English teacher  who  use slides and audio system as teaching technique we have to send another $50 dollars in addition to the $70 dollars. This is still way bellow $500 and $250 monthly salary approve by the board. We also need to send some books , note books and stationary as part of the project. If any one has or can find suitable material for English and Computer  instruction please let me know.

I hope the above information has been helpful and would like to thank you all for your cooperation and help in achieving our goal for this vital project.

 

Cost Associates:

 1-Computers and accessories $1,140

 2-English Teachers salaries    $2,040

 3-AutoCAD and Surveying    $1,080

 The  cost of AutoCAD vocational training including English classes, equipments and instructors salaries total $4,260.

As agreed I installed the AutoCAD program hand delivered the 3 computers and presented to KOC . Due to power deficiency and surge issue I purchased a power Stabilizer with 5 unit(computer) capacity (cost included above - computers and accessories)

What next?

 

Mr. Ahmady   has suggested and needs our support for vocational training in the area of carpentry specifically   mobile furniture  manufacturing and repair. There is high demand for such manufacturing field. His suggestion was toward students who do not make universities and students who  need to work part time.  I asked Mr ahmady to look for a carpenter who is willing to teach such a course and also asked him to submit a proposal in this regard. I believe it is a good idea and the cost will be very low for the equipments and monthly salary.  

Opportunity in Dubai for KOC students

On my way back from Kabul I visited Mr. Zekria Sulaimankhail who owns three restaurants in Dubai. He lived in Germany for many years as well as united States . During my conversation with him I told him about my trip to Kabul and Raqim Foundation  and our vocational training for KOC. He was very anxious to help us and those students who get proper training in the above mentioned fields. He is willing to sponsor students who are in their legal age and are willing to work in Dubai. He asked me to contact him and send him the photos and necessary document such as passport or travel documents. He will provide the work Visa for Dubai . He also suggested if we can send him donation boxes for the cashier desk so people can donate and to be collected and send to Afghanistan. He mentioned that he is willing to have his wife travel to Kabul there is sufficient amount collected to be distributed to many of the centers associated with Raqim foundation I think we can talk about this in our upcoming meeting.

 

Carpentry and Metal work

I met with Mr Hamid Qasimi from Qasimi Group a very successful company in Afghanistan. Qasimi group own and run two factory in Kabul. One is metal work and the other one is Carpentry. I asked him if he can provide training for some students who are willing to learn and work while studying. He agreed and indicated his willingness to help Raqim Foundation. He will provide free training by his own staff and accommodation. We only need to buy the necessary tools which will cost about $80-$100 for each students. I asked Mr azizi from TCOW to provide me with a list of ten(10) students. Mr Qasimi mentioned that he will be able to help with transportation

School in Nooristan

Raqim Foundation has forged an alliance with Nooristan Foundation to build a school in remote Nooristan province. We have targeted a village that has no school presently and hope to build a permanent structure there in the near future.

Dear NF Board/Committee Members/Supporters:

I am pleased to share two photos with you that were taken this past summer at the beginning of classes at the Pasigam Village School . These are the actually little students we are helping. This really made my day to see them and know that we are all changing their lives for the better and helping them learn, which they would not otherwise have had the chance. There is also a receipt for the school bags that were bought for them from Jalalabad on July 10th. (Mr. Aider of Nuristan Mountain Schools had already provided us with the receipts for other supplies). This was taken before the furniture for the classes was finished, which photos we will hopefully receive when classes resume.

I will be sending him a chart for the teachers to sign that they received their salary for the last semester. We will do that each semester so that we can ensure the teachers and staff are getting paid. Mr. Aider is very honest and was referred by someone who was working with the PRT in Nuristan (with whom he worked as a Cultural Advisor), but instituting practices that provide for accountability are prudent and should be followed no matter who is involved.

As you all know, schools are closed in the winter months in Afghanistan , especially Nooristan which gets heavy snows. Classes will resume on March 21st, the first day of spring and beginning of the year for Afghans.

I wanted to share the photos with you so that you can see the children who you have directly helped with your efforts this past year. It has been a pleasure working with all of you and knowing that there are so many caring individuals who take the time to help others, thousands of miles away. NMS does not advertise that to the broader community that assistance is being received from the U.S as it would create security issues for the school, but the families and teachers are aware that support is coming to them from individuals here.

Thank you all and I hope you have a great holiday season.

Sincerely,
Mariam

RF/LUMS Scholarships

We are in the process of establishing two Raqim Scholarships to the prestigious Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS), one of the pre-eminent technical institutions in South Asia. We have cultivated warm relations with senior LUMS officials who have heartily embraced our idea of sending top Afghan students abroad (Pakistan) for advanced studies. Another goal of this project is to increase regional cooperation between Afghanistan and her neighbors, and to ensure that Afghans have the requisite technical skills to compete in the global economy.

Telemedicine project

We have just embarked on an innovative Telemedicine initiative, which is a first in the country and will finally bring hope to countless desperate people in far-flung villages scarred by constant violence and grinding poverty. If successful, we will try replicating this life-saving project across Afghanistan, hoping to bring the latest medical advances within the reach of even the most inaccessible villages.

Book project

Raqim Foundation is in the process of funding a translation of Abdullah al-Ansari's Stations of the Wayfarer. Al-Ansari, one of Afghanistan's most influential philosphers, lived in the 11th century in Herat. His epic works have been largely forgotten, and Raqim Foundation is trying to resurrect the teachings of this giant. This would be a historic achievement that would bring Al-ansari's works to light and would reacquaint Afghans with their rich cultural past.

Completed Projects

Relief in Bamyan

The 2006 winter in Afghanistan proved to be one of the harshest in recent memory; and the fledgling government, owing to a lack of resources, was ill-equipped to handle another major humanitarian crisis. The heavy snowfall and freezing temperature brought more death and misery to the land, dramatically increasing the desperation of an already beleaguered population. Heartrending scenes played out across the country with excruciating regularity as innocent young children succumbed daily to cold-related illnesses such as pneumonia, whooping cough, and other respiratory infections. The growing multitudes of poor people were essentially on their own, left to fend for themselves amidst a stark and unforgiving landscape. Many remote villages in the impoverished mountainous regions couldn't be reached by relief workers as the roads became blocked and impassable. Avalanches were a constant threat. The stricken villagers faced a myriad of problems such as access to food, medicines, hospitals, doctors, scarcity of firewood, and lack of grazing land for their animals.

Given this backdrop, the Raqim Foundation, in coordination with the Organization for the Advancement of Afghan Women (NY) and the Masjid e Mahajareen (CA), initiated a blanket drive for the people of Bamyan Province, purchasing 2000 blankets in Kabul and transporting them to Bamyan in trucks.

Our four man mission, together with the Deputy Governor of Bamyan and other officials, then successfully distributed these blankets to one thousand needy families in several villages across this vast and desolate region.

ADRP

It has been said that the greatest acts of kindness come from small acts of love. In this spirit the Raqim Foundation, which was established two years ago to help alleviate the crushing poverty that afflicts most of Afghanistan's population, held its first fundraising event on January, 29 2006 in Fremont, California, for the Afghan Dental Relief Project (ADRP), which was founded by Dr. James Rolfe.

Twenty five years of civil war and occupation have destroyed most of the healthcare system that existed in Afghanistan. Despite five years of relative peace, the majority of Afghans have no access to basic healthcare which the rest of us take for granted. Oral health care, which is a vital component of general health and well being, remains out of the reach of most Afghans. Modern research links poor oral health to increased risk of cardiovascular disease, uncontrolled diabetes, and poor reproductive outcomes (pre-term child delivery and low birth weight children). Furthermore, acute oral-facial infections claim new lives throughout Afghan society every day.

Dr. James Rolfe, a licensed dentist in Santa Barbara, California, traveled three times to Afghanistan with mobile equipment as a volunteer, and was so touched by the plight of the people that he decided to establish a permanent clinic in Kabul not only to treat the needy but also to teach locals dental technology and dental hygiene.

The Raqim Foundation, cognizant of the importance of this project to the people of Afghanistan, raised $15,000 for ADRP. In Kabul, the Raqim Foundation's VP, Tor Achekzai, served as the liaison between Dr. Rolfe and the Afghan Government. In the US, the Raqim Foundation's Chairman introduced Dr. Rolfe to Mr. Mohammadi, who put his family's house in Karte Char -- which served as ADRP's temporary clinic -- at the disposal of ADRP, until a suitable permanent structure was erected. Our donation and valuable assistance was instrumental in helping Dr. Rolfe to begin this vital project.

The Clinic is now fully operational and serving the poor people free of charge.

2007 Blanket Drive for Central Provinces in Afghanistan

Raqim Foundation launches another blanket drive and distribution to the neediest people in the region. Please click here to view the official letter.

Three-Pronged Winter Relief Project

The Raqim Foundation is pleased to announce that we have launched our annual Winter Relief Campaign for the people of central Afghanistan.

Last year’s blanket drive and distribution effort, despite numerous security concerns and countless logistical challenges, proved so successful that we hope to build on it this winter, pursuing an even more ambitious, multi-tiered approach. This unprecedented (in central Afghanistan) three-pronged initiative comes at a time when the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan is deepening, as much of the country continues to be convulsed by violence and the Karzai government remains politically paralyzed and economically hamstrung: millions of impoverished Afghans – the enormity of their suffering is almost beyond human comprehension -- have been left to fend for themselves and are in desperate need of help. The winter months are especially cruel, as frigid temperatures and massive snowfalls descend on the region, unleashing outbreaks of disease and an array of other unfortunate calamities. Many children and the elderly freeze to death each year senselessly, as they simply can’t keep warm due to a lack of shelter, blankets and adequate clothing. And the amount of aid reaching the country is considerably less than what it will take to protect the millions of vulnerable Afghans at highest risk.

In response to this urgent need, the Raqim Foundation is taking the following steps to alleviate some of the suffering in the remote central highlands:

1) With some assistance from Child International, we have collected 900lbs of clothing –      shoes, socks, pants, sweaters and jackets - and will ship this cargo to Afghanistan by
     air.
2) We will also be shipping by air three massive containers full of assorted clothing,
     which we collected with the generous help of the Masjid e Muhajereen of Hayward,      California.
3) In collaboration with the Children of War, we have purchased 5,000 woolen blankets
     from an Indian factory and will transport and distribute them to the Central provinces
     in Afghanistan.

Our principal concern was to deliver these items before the onset of winter in Afghanistan, which typically occurs around mid-November. So we assembled an experienced team on the ground in Afghanistan and made preparations well in advance so that our Winter Relief Campaign would proceed as smoothly as possible.

We want to extend our deepest gratitude to the many dedicated individuals who are supporting us in this vital mission, and who are helping us navigate this logistical maze with care and efficiency. It is our sincere hope to bring some small measure of comfort to our embattled brethren in Afghanistan.

Raqim Foundation's In-Kind donation to The Children of War

To help protect the orphaned children of Afghanistan from another severe winter, the Raqim Foundation made the following donation to The Children of War (TCOW):

Two boxes of assorted medicines containing 5292 tablets and 92 bottles of syrup/liquid medication.
Mr. Zemar Achikzai, one our generous Board Members, was kind enough to carry these from California to Kabul.

GPFA

We are proud of our enduring partnership with GPFA, which is operating in 5 provinces and impacting tens of thousands of lives by training rural families (widows and their children) in agro-enterprises that are capable of generating adequate income to sustain them. Millions of saplings have been planted and numerous fruit orchards have blossomed across Afghanistan thanks to GPFA's innovative grassroots approach. Former President Bill Clinton recently hailed GPFA as the most successful NGO in the world. In keeping with our mission to promote education in Afghanistan, Raqim Foundation has just funded 6 GPFA sponsored scholarships/internships at Albirouni University.

In 2005, the Global Partnership for Afghanistan (GPFA) launched a program to reduce poverty for rural Afghan women by creating income generating opportunities in horticulture. Raqim Foundation teamed up with GPFA on this project, raising $20,000 toward this effort, which yielded an additional $42,000 in matching funds. Last year, 26 female heads of household in the Shomali Valley participated in GPFA's Horticultural Business Development Program with great success.

Agriculture once sustained 80% of Afghans, accounted for 50% of the country's wealth, and made Afghanistan self-sufficient in food production. Formerly an agricultural exporter known as the orchard of Central Asia for its extraordinary fruits, Afghanistan has lost an estimated 60-80% of its orchards and vineyards to war and drought. Today, though women constitute 60% of the population and a significant portion of the agricultural work force, their participation is meagerly rewarded. Widows and female heads of households face particular difficulties due to illiteracy, cultural restrictions limiting travel and other barriers to training. Women's problems exacerbate the vulnerabilities of their children. About half of children under five years of age are stunted due to chronic malnutrition, and up to 10% suffer from acute malnutrition.

This program will assist 80 women in significantly increasing their harvest and income by providing training and access to quality vegetable and tools, much of this provided via credit. Once harvested, we assist families with food preservation and marketing. For an investment of $70 per woman in training, improved seeds, fertilizers and tools, we will help women farmers double their income from these vegetable crops, reaching over $500 in profit per half acre. That increased knowledge will pay off for years to come with increased food supplies, family nutrition and income.

This horticultural project will provide direct benefit to 93 impoverished women and provide needed food and income to their families, some 500 additional beneficiaries. The focus upon knowledge transfer and business skill development will aim, at every stage, to achieve a permanent increase in the economic standing of these women and their eventual integration into established production and market systems

In his recent trip to Afghanistan (May, 2007), Mr. Achikzad visited some of the work carried out by GPFA with Raqim Foundation's assistance in a number of villages spanning three provinces adjacent to Kabul.

Our $20,000 grant to GPFA, which yielded an additional $46,156 in matching funds from GPFA, has helped to spur economic activity throughout Afghanistan. GPFA has prepared a report for the Raqim Foundation on our grant toward GPFA's fruit orchard/agricultural revitalization project. This project helps women to establish income-generating opportunities in horticulture.

Summary, GPFA work with Women Farmars 2005 - 2008
(Kabul, Logar, Wardak and Paktya)

Year
Project
Province/Distric and Number
 
 
 
 
 
 
    
Kabul
Logar
Wardak
Paktya
Total 
Guldara Farza Puli Alam M. Agha Sayd Abad Gardez
2005 Completed Orchard Establishment
26
0
0
0
0
0
26
2006 Completed Orchard Establishment 
20
0
0
0
0
0
20
2006 Completed Vegetable Production
46
0
0
0
0
0
46
2006 Completed Orchard Establishment/
Revitalization
0
0

5
1

0
0
0
5
1
2007 Completed Vegetable Production
10
20
18
0
25
15
88
2007 Completed Poplar Nursary/Woodlot
0
1
0
0
0
1
2
2007 Completed Agroforestry
0
11
13
0
25
67
116
2008 Completed Poplar Nursary/Woodlot
0
5
2
0
2
6
15
2008 Completed Agroforestry
65
45
3
4
25
86
228
Strated Mar08** Orchard Revitalization
0
0
2
0
0
25
27
Strated Mar08** Fruit Nusery
0
0
1
0
0
1
2
Strated Mar08** Vegetable Production
30
20
0
0
0
203
253
Total
197
102
45
4
77
404
*829
* This represent 829 IGAs for 783 individual women (During 2006, 46 women in Guldara who had established orchard in 2005-06 also received seeds for vegetable gardens).
** These represent March 2008 startups that will need additional inputs and follow-up for the reminder of 2008 and 2009

We are please to inform you that this initiative has far exceeded its anticipated results. Rather than helping 88 women farmers, as was originally envisaged, we have helped establish 829 income-generating activities with 783 individual women in 6 districts across 4 provinces;
51 new and 28 revitalized fruit tree orchards have been assisted by this project; family incomes are increasing exponentially each year; 387 home vegetable gardens have also been established; new agro-forestry farm activities are benefitting 344 women farmers; and women are being trained and recruited for various projects. GPFA is currently trying to improve its methods and approaches toward farmer education and training, and also trying to create opportunities for rural youth.

A sign has been placed in each of the four provinces acknowledging the contribution of the Raqim Foundation.

Sargailan Clinic

The Raqim Foundation is delighted to announce that according to the Badakhshan Public Health Department,the Shuhada Clinic has been unofficially opened with a doctor, a nurse and a couple of workers. They have also sent some medicines and equipments to meet the initial needs of the population. The opening was received with jubilation by the local public. This is a monumental achievement for those who worked very hard to build the clinic,considering that there is no other health facility within 50 miles. Dr. Jalali, Chairman of the Provincial Public Health Department, informed Mr. Abdul Qadeer Fitrat, the founder of the clinic, that in the first few days, there were between 100 -150 visitors and the clinic quickly ran out of medicine until re-supply was sent.

Until last year, there was no health facility in the entire Shuhada District of Badakhshan Province, a 45 kilometer long valley with more than 95-100 villages and roughly 35,000 inhabitants. The USAID built two health clinics in 2005, one of which is located in the middle and the other in the lower end of the valley. But none was built in the upper part of the valley, which consists of more than 45 villages and roughly half of the District's population. In 2006 when we visited the valley, two relatively young women had already died during labor just weeks before our arrival. As recently as January 2006, another twenty year-old young woman also died during labor. Her relatives were not able to transfer her to a relatively better equipped Baharak District clinic due to heavy snowfall.

There may be dozens of similar cases that are not reported or simply forgotten. There are hundreds of children and adults who suffer from a variety of diseases and cannot afford to cover this distance to reach Baharak. The need to establish a health facility in the upper part of the valley became absolutely essential.

In response to the overwhelming need for an adequate medical center in this district, in the spring of 2006, a few concerned people began construction of a clinic in Sarghailan. These same people, headed by Mr Abdul Qadeer Fitrat, approached Raqim Foundation and asked us to help them complete the facility. Raqim Foundation, after some scrutiny, made a grant toward this vital project.

The clinic is scheduled to be completed by end of the summer of 2007 and should be operational soon thereafter.

The clinic is an eight room facility including two waiting rooms (for male and female), a surgical room for small scale surgical operations, a kitchen, a male and female restrooms and three extra rooms for other purposes. This facility is easily accessible to all surrounding 45 villages in the upper part of Shuhada District. There are three paramedics/nurses with18 moths of formal training and more than fifteen years of experience in the area who are ready to serve in that clinic. In addition, the administrative body of the District has secured a Government promise for funding the salary and other expenses of a permanent medical doctor and supply of the required medicine for the clinic once it is complete.

TCOW

At The Children of War, Raqim Foundation is promoting hard work by establishing excellence awards for the top 9 unfortunate children - girls and boys.

2007 Blanket Drive for Central Provinces in Afghanistan, Raqim Foundation launches another blanket drive and distribution to the neediest people in the region.

Please click here to view the official letter

Interview with Dr. Rolfe of ADRP

Raqim Foundation’s contribution to Global Partnership for Afghanistan (“GPFA”) continues to generate returns for the Afghan widows participating in the Horticultural Business Development program.

Please click here to view the report

Raqim Foundation, in coordination with the Organization for the Advancement of Afghan Women (NY) and the Masjid e Mahajareen (CA), initiated a blanket drive for the people of Bamyan Province, purchasing 2000 blankets in Kabul and transporting them to Bamyan in trucks. Subsequently, Raqim Foundation received a letter from the provincial government of Bamyan.

Please click here to view the report

 
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