University Women Helping Afghan Women
CFUW-Ottawa hosted the 2010 National AGM. Our theme was "Value our Past: Shape the Future". As we reviewed our own remarkable one hundred year history, we were encouraged to look within our Canadian borders and beyond to see where we could support other women in shaping their future. Our example and focus led to Afghanistan. At our AGM, the lack of human rights for Afghan women was communicated so movingly and intelligently by Dr. Sima Samar (physician and Human Rights advocate) that many hearts, minds and eyes were opened. After the event, many members of the Club expressed an interest in continuing to study the issue, and to look for ways to help the plight of Afghan women and girls. The University Women Helping Afghan Women
group was formed and has been very active since.
The group has undertaken a special project of helping Afghan women and girls through education and action. In 2011-2012 the group hosted superb monthly speakers, interacted on occasion with CW4WA (Canadian Women for Women of Afghanistan), held a sold out musical luncheon and silent auction at the NAC with the recently appointed Afghanistan Ambassador to Canada, H.E. Barna Karimi in attendance. A speaking engagement was also accepted in the community to raise public awareness of the issues facing Afghan women and girls.
Fundraising proceeds have gone directly to Dr. Samar’s Gawhar Shad Institut of Higher Education in Kabul to provide scholarships for ten carefully selected underprivileged young women who are determined to make a difference in the country they call home.