News & Updates
learn about our accomplishments in 2020
Message from our President & Founder:
I hope and pray that you and all of your loved ones are well in this challenging time. I’ve been deeply struck by the fact that we are all connected by the COVID-19 pandemic, by the increased hardship and suffering it has caused for so many people. In fact, some of my own family members in Afghanistan became sick with the virus and died, and for the people of the Behsood District, where AWAKEN carries out most of its work, the illness has had a devastating impact. At one point, health officials estimated that 80% of the Behsood residents had COVID.
AWAKEN's response to COVID-19 has been critical in supporting a region that is sorely lacking in healthcare resources, basic supplies, and knowledge about the virus. To date, our mobile health clinic has seen over 1,200 COVID patients, providing them with masks, hygiene supplies, and other supportive care. In May, we launched a special fundraiser to give "Relief Packages" with flour, rice, oil, sugar, beans, tea, and hygiene products to families in need. With your support, we raised $10,000 to provide essential supplies to more than 150 families. In the coming year, we will continue giving food and hygiene packages to families who’ve been impacted by COVID and other emergencies.
In addition to our COVID relief, we have continued to make great progress with our landmark programs. Our Behsood Health Clinic treated a record 50,000 patients this past year, our mobile health clinic is serving over 7 remote villages, our Birthing Center delivered over 120 healthy newborns, and 60 women graduated from our six-month vocational training program! None of this would be possible without your support. I am grateful beyond words for both your compassion and generosity in a year that has been filled with great pain for Americans, Afghans, and all of the world’s citizens. I hope you will join us in continuing to ease the suffering of Behsood District women and children in 2021.
I am also very excited to announce, due to the tremendous generosity of an anonymous donor, EVERY DOLLAR YOU DONATE WILL BE MATCHED from now until January 2021. Click here to donate now!
With my deepest thanks and gratitude,
Bibi Bahrami, Founder & President of AWAKEN
Click here to see our full end-of-year letter which includes stories from women who's lives changed for the better with AWAKEN's programs
Mobile clinic: on the move and high in demand
AWAKEN’s most recent venture—creation of a mobile health clinic—became a reality in April! The clinic is now traveling to villages around the Nangarhar Province of Afghanistan five days a week, treating an average of 120 patients each day! Before this, residents of nearby villages in need of healthcare had to walk as many as 10 kilometers to get to our clinic.
Now, however, AWAKEN is serving patients five days each week, as the five-person staff makes its rounds to seven different villages in the Nangarhar Province. With your donations, we purchased a van and retrofitted it to provide an array of outpatient healthcare services, as well as medications, medical supplies, and vaccinations for polio, tuberculosis, measles, tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis, hepatitis B, and Hib (a bacterial infection).A
Rotary grant comes to a close, but the work continues!
From March 2017 through February 2019, AWAKEN received funds from a Rotary International grant that expanded our existing healthcare services and vocational training, and also improved hygiene through new latrines and new wells for clean drinking water. This generous $79,000 grant allowed us to create the maternal and child health unit, increase the number of vocational training programs in tailoring, and add computer training services as well. Such training makes it possible for women to develop skills that can be used in supporting their families and becoming more self-reliant.
AWAKEN is now fulfilling its terms of that two year grant by continuing these services. Tailoring instruction and family planning programs are particularly popular and fill an important need that Afghanistan’s schools simply can’t meet. In the past 12 months, 62 women have participated in our vocational training programs. Upon completing the six-month program, each woman is given a sewing machine, cloth, and other tailoring supplies that allow her to care for her family’s needs and earn extra income.