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We've set out on a quest to help Afghan families break free from poverty. The socio-political and economic situation in Afghanistan has recently deteriorated with dire consequences, particularly for women and children. The New Yorker called the situation the "World's Worst Humanitarian Crisis" with "over 20 million Afghans on the brink of famine". The hasty withdrawal of American forces from Afghanistan has added to the country's instability and volatility. People have been affected by social, political, and economic consequences that are surely felt across the region. Living conditions have deteriorated significantly, particularly for low-income families, widowed women, and children- some of whom have recently become orphans.


In addition to socio-political turmoil and violence, almost every household’s income is adversely impacted by a lack of employment options, services/infrastructure, and financial services/banking. Poor and low-income families experience a number of disadvantages, particularly those who live in remote or underserved areas who are way behind in terms of access to healthcare, education, livelihood, and job opportunities as well as food insecurity and extreme poverty.  Poor families with multiple children may choose to encourage their under-aged children to support their families at the cost of education. Education for girls is under attack as the Taliban have recently only opened high schools for boys.

Due to various reasons described above, the poor will become poorer and the United Nations have warned that by 2022, "almost 97% of Afghans will move below poverty lines" leading to a sizeable number of ultra-poor households. Protracted drought and the upcoming winter will further exacerbate these dire conditions.


Many people on the outside want to help, but don't know where to start or don't have a presence on the ground to monitor their aid.

Due to the current ground realities, Wadan Worldwide has piloted an initiative to support ultra-poor families through this program by which interested sponsors in the rest of the world who can afford to support ultra-poor families will be linked together for assistance. Wadan Worldwide will identify, select, and profile ultra-poor families and assign a case manager who will liaison with the sponsoring families/individuals/foundations, charities, and other donors. The case manager on the ground will routinely communicate with both stakeholders and link them through practical information technology tools. The sponsored families would agree and commit themselves to educating their children, taking care of their health and hygiene needs, learning skills and income generating activities, and working towards financial sustainability.

With over 20 years of experience, WADAN is the Afghan NGO that has the resources on the ground to make international aid productive and meet humanitarian goals. They have worked in all 34 provinces and operate in remote areas as well as cities. WADAN has implemented several projects aimed at poverty reduction, livelihoods, health, education, and drug control. Specifically, WADAN has completed the Treating Ultra-Poor project in various provinces which is useful because the family profiles will help us identify target beneficiaries. Thus, WADAN would be responsible for the identification, profiling, supplying case managers, and distribution of aid.


Meanwhile, Wadan Worldwide is responsible for the overall management of this initiative and will identify individuals, families, corporations, charities, businesses, and other donors to support this necessary initiative.

We believe that humanitarian assistance should be tailored in such a way that it can lead to economic development, improved healthcare, and educational opportunities that can generate tolerant and informed citizens as well as productive members of communities who would live in peace and promote peace worldwide.

Wadan Worldwide, with the assistance of WADAN, will work in all provinces and select beneficiaries based on need. For the pilot phase of this project, we will begin the implementation of this project in areas where WADAN currently has operational offices. We aim to scale this up and include other areas as we progress.

WADAN will track the beneficiaries on the ground for about two years. We expect to graduate most beneficiaries from our program in two to three years following their empowerment to the extent that they become self-sufficient and sustainable. When these ultra-poor families are assisted out of extreme poverty and move above the poverty line, their self-esteem and confidence will be built and they can contribute to the development and prosperity of their country.


Our Objectives:

  1. To combat poverty and illiteracy, first and foremost.

  2. To contribute to education by reducing the total cost of living for poor rural/village residents.

  3. To promote and improve the status of women in Afghan society.

  4. To assist and raise finances for poor families in Afghanistan from all over the world.

  5. To encourage individuals, families, corporations, charities, and donors to contribute to the extent possible.

  6. To offer assistance, shelter, and facilities for the welfare of mothers, children, and disabled people.

Rules and Responsibilities of WADAN and Wadan Worldwide:

  • Development of the selection criteria

  • Selection of beneficiaries purely on humanitarian grounds

  • Equality and fairness in all phases of this initiative

  • Developing profiles of the beneficiaries with relevant data and information

  • Facilitation between the sponsor and the beneficiaries

  • Provision of the assistance package, as a whole, to the beneficiaries

  • Provision of relevant trainings and life skills

  • Monitoring visits and connecting beneficiaries with the sponsors

  • Forming an advisory group to oversee this initiative – participatory approach. The Advisory group will divide responsibilities among its members. Members should be an odd number. The Advisory Group will provide strategic guidance for this initiative and should ensure fairness, transparency, accountability, scaling up and expansion as well as media and communication strategy and marketing.

  • Advocacy for scaling up and expanding this project beyond the pilot phase

  • Fundraising for this initiative worldwide – individual, corporate, charities, humanitarian organizations, etc.

  • Ensuring transparency, accountability, and proper reporting

  • No administrative or overhead charges

  • Wadan Worldwide in partnership with WADAN would implement this project without any administrative or overhead charges

  • Wadan Worldwide through WADAN would pilot this initiative in Nangarhar, Kabul, Herat, Kandahar, Farah, Badakhshan, Jawzjan, Logar, Mazar, and Bamyan where WADAN currently has offices. We will scale this up to other provinces and regions of Afghanistan.

  • Beneficiaries would be selected based on merit and would be inclusive of all ethnicities

  • Only the funds' transfer charges from abroad to Afghanistan would be deducted from the package of assistance of the sponsors.

  • Effective communication strategy and marketing for attracting more sponsors

  • Reporting to the advisory committee and the sponsors in a timely manner

  • Developing a database of the sponsors and the beneficiaries

  • Developing success stories and dissemination of evidence-based information

  • Developing an online, transparent accounting and financial reporting system that would be open to the sponsors

  • Sending detailed financial reports to the sponsors.

  • Developing risks and mitigation mechanisms to counter misinformation and disinformation.

  • Developing a graduation mechanism for the beneficiaries

  • Linking up the graduates with potential businesses, financial institutions, for jobs, entrepreneurship, apprenticeship, and vocational trainings.


Criteria for selection of beneficiaries: These criteria can include, but are not limited to:

  • Being Ultra Poor.

  • The head of the household is a woman.

  • The beneficiaries are committed to sending their children to school.

  • The beneficiaries are committed to not sending their children on the streets.

  • The beneficiaries are committed to taking care of the health and hygiene of their children and household seriously.

  • The beneficiaries are committed to not using narcotics.

  • The beneficiaries are committed to learning a marketable skill.

  • The beneficiaries are committed to following the graduation rules.

  • The beneficiaries are committed to maintaining some savings for potential small businesses.

  • The beneficiaries are committed to allowing monitoring and supervision for improvement.

Criteria for selection of sponsors:

  • Selection of beneficiaries purely based on humanitarian reasons

  • Non-political

  • No relatives

  • Can sponsor a family at least for one year

  • Maintain regular communication/contact with the beneficiaries for transparency

  • Sponsors would have the right to choose the beneficiaries based on their profile and data

  • Sponsors cannot exploit the beneficiaries

  • Sponsors cannot use the package of assistance to promote their own personal or commercial interests.

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