The soul is dyed the color of its thoughts. Think only on those things that are in line with your principles and can bear the light of day. The content of your character is your choice. Day by day, what you choose, what you think, and what you do is who you become. Your integrity is your destiny … it is the light that guides your way.” – Heraclitus

We are proud to share with you profiles and stories of Afghan women leaders in civil society, including many that Connect has supported over the past ten years.

In our blogs, you can read about their stories, the growth of their nonprofit organizations, the projects they run with teams, and the participants whose lives have been transformed. You will also see rare photographs and videos direct from the ground.

Connect adopted a long-term approach: investing in the capacity and programs of local organizations. This has included over $1 million dollars invested in over forty projects to reach 20,000 direct beneficiaries and 100,000 indirect beneficiaries. Connect has also provided business support to leaders managing and growing nonprofits.

Afghan women leaders know their country’s terrain, culture and people. They can reach women and girls in sensitive and remote areas with the consent of local communities, essential to creating sustainable change. They have a track record of delivering vital services throughout years of war and Taliban rule. Their leadership builds civil society while strengthening women’s participation in the development process.

What is required in the long run to make a long-lasting and significant change is empowering Afghan women themselves to broaden and deepen the changes, and make them relevant and authentic to the context in the country. Connect has been a model as a donor in this regard, undertaking thoughtful and deliberate research in identifying the most effective Afghan leaders to support, and adopting a long-term approach.”

– Rina Amiri, Former Senior Advisor on Afghanistan for the Office of the Special Representative to Afghanistan and Pakistan, U.S. Department of State