About Khorasan Charity Organisation
Khorasan is a UK Registered Charity No. 1081438 and a Member of the British and Irish Agencies Afghanistan Group ‐ (BAAG), Khorasan is also registered as a Non-Governmental Organisation in Afghanistan with the Ministry of Economy, The founder of Khorasan is Seema Ghani who returned to Afghanistan in May 2002 from the UK to assist in the reconstruction of her country. Some of the most needy children from the Refugee camps in the North West Frontier Province of Pakistan were cared for by Khorasan. Khorasan relocated to Kabul from Pakistan in the summer of 2002. Khorasan means land of the sun. We named our charity after a Peshawar refugee camp where we operated our 1st project, a clinic, in 1999. We are members of the International Society for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (ISPCAN) and the British and Irish Agencies Afghanistan Group (BAAG).
Seema Ghani (The founder) – Overseas Community Involvement Award
The tragedy of the people of Afghanisan has been thrown into shocking focus this year. Helping to relieve some of the pain of refugees is the aim of the Khorasan Charity Organization, which although a UK charity provides assistance to Afghan refugees living in Peshawar, Pakistan and to widows’ families in Afghanistan itself. As a member of the charity’s executive committee, Seema takes part in many activities, but he crowning achievements has been playing a key role in setting up Khorasan House, the orphanage in Peshawar that currently houses 12 children who all look upon Seema as their ‘mother’. Seema said: “I have always felt for people in need around the world, and the opportunity to take part in the set-up of Khorasan was something that I wouldn’t miss. I have learned a great deal during the last two years of volunteering with Khorasan, including management, administrative and time management skills, as well as the ability to work in various hardship locations. In return I’ve built up throught my job with PwC to the charity.”
Khorsan Non-profit Organization Objectives
To provide education to vulnerable children and youth
To support vulnerable women
To ensure participation of women in leadership and decision making roles
To get children off the streets and provide them with education by giving their families support
Donors and Supporters
Summary of our Projects
In 1999, Khorasan set up a health clinic in Khorasan Refugee Camp in Peshawar, Pakistan for desperate and vulnerable Afghan widows and their children. Many women had lost their husbands in war and conflict and they needed to flee the Taliban regime with their families. In refugee camps they struggled to care for their children on their own so Khorasan’s health clinic provided them with access to free medical consultations and basic, but life-saving medicines e.g., antibiotics. We provided food packages too for the clinic to distribute to families considered to be the most needy. After the Taliban was ousted, Khorasan relocated its operations to Afghanistan in 2002.
In early 2000 Khorasan established the first home for Afghan orphaned children in Peshawar where a family unit was the basis for its operation. Children lived as brothers and sisters and Seema Ghani became the mother-figure for the traumatised children. This family unit moved back to their homeland, Afghanistan in October 2002 when it was considered to be safe for them and education was possible for both boys and girls. Between 2000 and 2015, Seema cared for around 40 children who lived with her as her own children. The family unit continued until all of them had completed their education and moved on, either finding their own families who had returned from exile, or who married and now have their own families. One girl still lives with Seema as her daughter.
In the second decade of 2000 Khorasan volunteers continued their work with children living with their widowed mothers. These families often have a low family income and exist on handouts from relatives. Khorasan pays for the children’s education costs as well as giving the family monthly food packages to ensure the mothers can send their daughters to school. This prevents them from needing to work or get married at young age. School uniforms are compulsory in Afghanistan, so we provide these as well as stationery and food packages for the whole family.
We support women with their aspirations towards political participation and provide opportunities to learn skills. This helps them to gain confidence to work on influencing policy on women’s rights. Khorasan, together with The Canadian CIDA and Open Society Afghanistan (OSA), created the first database of potential women leaders. We visited all of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces, interviewing women that were well known to their local communities. A list of 1400 women was produced and shared solely with senior government figures to protect the women’s security. This list of impressive women was used to identify competent candidates for future senior appointments and for the decision makers to consult with on nationwide important matters.
In the past five years Khorasan has supported a number of young women to attend to their higher education. An Italian NGO has provided the funds for this project and some of the women have now graduated from university and found jobs. These young women are also those that have lost their fathers and they end up supporting their extended family after graduation and finding employment. They themselves are the young leaders that take part in empowering other women in their circles.
Khorasan has helped elderly men and women, that have lost their sons to war, for several years. They are mostly the parents of young men who had enlisted in the army and were then killed in battle. Many others migrated to Iran to earn an income to send home but subsequently they were either killed at the border or ‘disappeared’. Their fathers often move to Kabul hoping to find jobs but end up begging on the streets. We provide some of these destitute people with food packages.
Several times in the last decade due to the intensity of conflict or environmental disasters such as drought or floods, families have had to flee their homes and migrate to cities. The Government and agencies such as UNHCR have always been supportive but help is often slow to arrive to reach the needy. During such emergencies Khorasan quickly uses its contingency funds to provide food, blankets and other essentials for the displaced families.
Every winter we fundraise to enable us to provide warm clothing for children who we support through our other projects and to street children. We buy coal for families to use for their heating stoves in winter and distribute warm blankets.