How I celebrate International Womens Day and other days
I work for Creating Hope International in the USA. It is a non-profit that assists the Afghan Institute of Learning (AIL) with technical assistance and preparing final reports for grants. AIL in Afghanistan gives education and health care to Afghan women, children, and men. The founder, Sakena Yacoobi, spends time in Afghanistan and the USA taking care of the needs of AIL. She also travels world-wide, seeking funding and attending international conferences.
Most of my work is on the computer. The main office for Creating Hope is in Dearborn, MI; but most of the work is done in a tiny, small town very far north in Michigan. Here there are rolling hills and lakes, and trees. There is lots of wildlife- deer, birds, raccoons, squirrels, turkeys and even some black bear (although I have not personally seen any).
For International Women's Day, I prepared an email with photos to celebrate the work that Sakena and AIL has done for Afghanistan. I am attaching the collage of photos that were sent with the email.
Other work I do is write reports requested by our grants on updates and the impact that AIL is doing, keep track of the stories by Afghan women that we receive, monitor websites that feature AIL projects, and catalog photos we receive from Afghanistan and other projects. A lot of the work is administrative (filing, organizing, etc.).
I remind myself that even though some of my work is mundane and repetitive, I'm part of a cog in a wheel that moves to change and impact the lives of women and children halfway around the world. Each keystroke, each report, each little task moves these women and children one step closer to their goals of peace and dignity.
I know their Afghan world is very different than mine. There is fighting and conflict. There are people and families who want to gain more education, and there are often no existing schools in their community. Travel can be hazardous. People and businesses may only have 1-2 hours of electricity per day to use a computer, or read, or study. Or they may have no electricity. Phone lines are unstable; one may try calling for 2 hours only to achieve a few minutes of communication.
And yet, despite these challenges, the Peace People of Afghanistan work and go to school and build their families and share with others in their communities. That's what weI called the Afghan women and men in the email we sent out for International Women's Day. They move steadily forward each day- and they do all they can to make Afghanistan a place of peace.
This experience- working in my small way to make the world a better place- has been humbling.