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High Impact. Volunteer Driven. 

In 2000, in the Behsood District near the city of Jalalabad and in other areas around the country there was intense poverty, lack of food and the some of the highest infant mortality rates in the world. There were no safe places for children to attend school and women did not know how to read and lacked knowledge of basic health practices. After the Soviet Union invasion, the literacy rate in Afghanistan was 45% for men but only 15% for women.  Eighty percent of schools had been damaged or destroyed. Only 39% of boys and 3% of girls were enrolled in school. Healthcare was no better. The United Nations called Afghanistan “the worst place in the world for a woman to become pregnant.” ​


For the past 19 years, AWAKEN has made a significant difference in 100,000+ lives by providing key educational programs, vocational opportunities, health care services, and timely emergency assistance. AWAKEN targets its assistance toward women and children, who are typically among Afghanistan’s most vulnerable and needy.


AWAKEN was founded by Bibi Bahrami, originally from Jalalabad, Afghanistan, who currently serves as the President of the organization. Read her story here. AWAKEN is run by a volunteer Executive Board and is extremely cost-effective - over 98% of all funds raised go directly toward our programs in Afghanistan. 

Key Milestones of Our Work

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AWAKEN completed it's first initiative: creating the co-ed Qala-e-Malakh school, which now has over 1500 students grades 1-12

Established our first vocational training program, which lasts 6 months and teaches over 20 women how to sew, read, and practice hygiene.



Opened the Behsood Health Clinic, the first clinic in this district. The clinic now cares for 3,000 patients each month.


Opened the Maternal and Child Health Unit, an addition to the Behsood Health Clinic. Provides prenatal, delivery, and postnatal care to 200 women each month.


Constructed 4 latrines, 2 handwashing stations, and 2 drinking water stations for the clinic, as well as 4 latrines for the Qala-e-Malakh school.




Established a mobile health clinic to reach more villages beyond Behsood. Travels 5 days a week to provide basic health care and life-saving vaccines.


Where We Work

The work of AWAKEN is overseen by a group of dedicated board members in Indiana who come from diverse backgrounds, religions, and occupations. But they are united by their commitment to improving the lives of women and children in the Behsood District of Afghanistan’s Nangarhar Province. 

AWAKEN’s work is made possible through the generous support of hundreds of donors.


>>Learn how you can help.

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