AMERICA’S FUND FOR AFGHAN CHILDREN

Red CrossIn 2004, Nooristan Foundation was awarded $100,000 as part of the Red Cross America’s Fund for Afghan Children program.  Nooristan Foundation successfully implemented over a dozen key projects that provided jobs to locals, with low overhead and administrative costs. 

Members of Nooristan Foundation, including Dr. Nadir Atash, traveled extensively to these areas and met local shuras (councils) to gain insight on the needs of the communities.  Because of financial constraints, projects implemented were based on costs and impact on the community in need.   

Nooristan Foundation was able to monitor projects by keeping close communications with the community involved through the shuras.  Throughout the duration of implementation, each project was given funds on a quarterly basis to ensure that funds were being spent accordingly.      Results of the projects were realized within a short period.  Therefore, the rewards were immediate, which added to the motivation of the staff to do more.  In all cases, the people affected by the project showed a great deal of gratitude, which also increased staff motivation to perform better on projects. 

In addition to the projects implemented through the reporting periods, Nooristan Foundation was given the opportunity to distribute school supplies on behalf of the American Red Cross.  Although transporting the materials to Nooristan proved to be quite difficult (members were first transported by car and then by mules to remote areas), the reaction by the children, as well as adults, made the endeavor worth the effort. 

The greatest challenge in project implementation in Nooristan is logistics.  Due to the remoteness of the area, it is very difficult to manage projects as well as transport the materials needed.  There are no shops nearby to purchase supplies, so everything must be brought from outside the area.  This also increases the costs of the projects.  More roads need to be built to ensure that the area residents have access to needed facilities. 

Mohammed Yaqub, who is from the village of Paprok in Nooristan, wrote to express his gratitude for help in providing materials for the Paprok irrigation project.  In his letter, he states that because they are not near the capital of Kabul, they are not receiving help from the U.N. and other aid agencies.  He also writes that they need more assistance to provide drinking water, fixing the roads as well as providing power.

Engineer Noor Mohammed from the village of Ameesh in Nooristan also expressed gratitude towards the completion of the micro-hydro electric project in his community.  He and other villagers are now able to light their homes at night with the help of the hydropower generated.