AFCECO in 2014
As the new academic year starts there have been changes within AFCECO’s management as well as in the orphanages. Due to the budget shortfall we had to reduce some of our programs including some of our orphanages. We were forced to design our programs according to the budget we have this year.
Right now, we maintain only three orphanages, two in Kabul and one in Herat. There are near two hundred children in our orphanages right now. As a result, many of our children have returned back to their villages or to their homes. We had to decide which children to keep and which children to send home considering many factors.
We had to consider some factors in choosing which children to keep and which children to go home. One of the factors was that we had to maintain one or two children from one family because there have been several cases where were three or four children from one family. Another factor was to see the children whose families lived within Kabul, then we had to send them all home. One of the other factors was to see children whom they have family support and at least had somewhere to stay and were able to attend a school. After thinking and deciding we maintained the children who had less opportunities and needed the most.
After the selection process we have to deal with every single child’s situation. We contacted each family or guardian and explained everything to them. After their consent we transferred the childrens’s school documents to their new school. We did not just throw away our children onto the street. We did everything possible to make sure that the children attend school and have a place to stay.
Some of the students who have graduated from high school went away by their own choice in order to allow space for other children who need our services most. Some of them still remained with us and work part time at AFCECO. Some of the children did not return back to the orphanages after the break as has happened many times in the past, even though some of them were on our list to return to the orphanages. There are many different reasons why some children do not come back to the orphanages. We had to maintain all the children who attend the Afghanistan National Institute of Music (ANIM) because the school management promised us to fund part of their ANIM children’s expenses at the orphanage.
It was a heart breaking choice for us sending children back to their villages because we would never imagine seeing children and our friends going home after a long time of living and growing together as brothers and sisters. We unfortunately had no other choice. The situation is still not clear. We fear that next year the finances of AFCECO will get worse. There are a lot of uncertainties about the future of the country as a whole and of course the future of the orphanages and we do not know how the atmosphere will adjust after the new president is elected.
I thank you all for your generous support in these years and thanks to the support we had we were able to offer, and still offer a wide variety of programs to our children. That obviously helped our children grow up with a sense of civic and Liberal Arts education. We are working hard to maintain our current situation for the next years. We are dramatically passing a very difficult time and hope to pass through this crisis soon. If the situation turns positively we expect to expand our programs again.
Peace and Love,
AFCECO Executive Team
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