New Canaan, CT: Blossom Hill, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of displaced children affected by war and conflict, is bringing positive impact across the world right here from New Canaan. So far, the organization raised $36,000 for the recent earthquake victims and $37,000 of a $50,000 matching donation to support #LetAfghanGirlsLearn.
“Afghanistan is the only country in the world today to suspend girls’ and women’s access to education,” said Shiva Sarram, Blossom Hill’s Founder and CEO, at the organization’s recent annual For the Love of a Child luncheon. “They are no longer allowed to attend secondary
school and higher education. This devastating decision by the Taliban threatens to wipe out huge gains made in education over the past 20 years despite major challenges. No country can advance if half of its population is not allowed to pursue an education and participate in public
At the luncheon, Blossom Hill Fellows Fereshteh Forough and Rahmatullah Hamraz discussed the current situation in Afghanistan and theprogress they are making in their programs against all odds. Forough implements a coding school for girls in Herat as a pathway toward
a productive future and an alternative to early marriage. “The students in this first coding school for girls in Afghanistan are being empowered,” said Forough.
“They are not being married off to settle a dispute or reduce a family’s financial burden; instead, they are learning 21st century skills and becoming the major breadwinners for the entire family earning well above the average monthly salary in the country.”
Hamraz opened a literacy and vocational tailoring center for the most impoverished and internally displaced girls on the outskirts of Kabul so they can earn a livelihood. He has a long waiting list of girls who want to join his program, which he implements from the basement of
his own home. “They are all so eager to become literate and start their own tailoring businesses,” he said. “This is a real solution that works and breaks the cycle of poverty.”
Blossom Hill is continuing its efforts to raise additional funds to support the growing needs of Afghan girls in a country where severe restrictions threaten to bar them from any participation outside the home. “Our programs are evidence-based and proven to work,” said Sarram. “We
hope to scale them up with support from our community.”
Across Turkey and Syria, Blossom Hill implements four programs in coding, college coaching, inclusive education for autistic children, and a girls’ empowerment program. These programs report loss of life, displacement and continued hardship. The funds raised will benefit
earthquake survivors from these programs by responding to their immediate needs including food, clothing, medications, and rent for temporary housing.
If you would like to make a donation to support any of Blossom Hill’s efforts, you can do so on their designated website.