The Taliban’s seizure of power in Afghanistan has caused a humanitarian crisis which requires urgent global response. Amongst the most disproportionately affected are Afghan women and girls, whose freedoms and safety are greatly jeopardized by the Taliban’s rule.
In response, a small but mighty group of Vancouver-based women came together to find ways to amplify the work of Afghan women. Our guiding values have been that women are NOT victims, and we are not lifting Afghan women out of crisis -- rather we must let them know, despite the crumbling situation, there is a global siblinghood working to support them and acknowledge their ongoing resilience and bravery.
With the goal of raising awareness and funds for Emergency Aid for Afghan Women at-risk, Voices for Hope: A Benefit for Women in Afghanistan is a benefit concert being held live on Saturday, November 27, 2021 at 7:30PM at The Cultch-Historic Theatre.
100% of proceeds from the Voices for Hope benefit are being donated to Canadian Women for Women of Afghanistan (CW4WAfghan), a registered charity and not-for-profit organization. Operating in Afghanistan since 1998, CW4WAfghan works in partnership with Afghan women and communities to advance human rights, gender equality and peacebuilding through access to quality education for women and girls. Since 2000, their impact includes:
More than 10,000 female teachers trained
Literacy classes for nearly 5,000 students
Distributed nearly 300 school library starter kits and 262 science labs kits
Established 40 community libraries
Provided access for over 1,000 female students to community schools
Shared thousands of resources through our Darakht-e Danesh Digital Library
During this crisis, CW4WAfghan is continuing to fulfill its mandate to promote the human rights of Afghan women and girls through access to education, while also responding to the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan by supporting at risk Afghans, distributing basic necessities to internally displaced people, and assisting with efforts to provide safe passage for refugees.
The situation in Afghanistan is volatile and ever-changing time, and on-the ground support and services must be approached in an agile and low-profile manner to ensure the safety and security of women supporting the work in Afghanistan. Having experience supporting women in Afghanistan during the previous Taliban regime, CW4WA remains 100% committed to doing everything possible to support the women still in Afghanistan through direct service.
“Literacy is like water. It saves our lives. I am so grateful that CW4WAfghan literacy classes came to our village, and we could fulfill our dreams of education. Thank you for raising our voice and being our hope from so far way. My books and my lessons were the things I cared for most in this world, but today they (the Taliban) took this also from me. Everything has reversed, right now we are living under the Taliban's Emirate and lost everything: our happiness, hopes, sleep, rights, jobs, even our food. Please don't leave us alone in this crucial time. We need solidarity and people outside Afghanistan to speak out.”
- Canadian Women for Women in Afghanistan Program participant