RAWA, April 9, 2006

Child Sponsorship Program Expands in Afghanistan

RAWA is expanding its successful child sponsorship program in Afghanistan. As a result of world-wide support, RAWA has substantially increased the number of sponsored children in recent months and immediately needs to add space to house and educate more children.

"An extraordinarily special aspect of RAWA's orphanages is that they provide the children with much more than love, food, shelter, and education."

As part of RAWA's plan to expand the child sponsorship program, individuals and organizations are now invited to become orphanage founding sponsors. As a founding sponsor, donors will make it possible to completely change the lives of hundreds (if not thousands) of children over the coming years. Donors need only support the initial cost of setting up the orphanage since the ongoing costs will be covered by individual child sponsorships. The initial set-up price for founding an orphanage is $16,000. Donors choosing this option make their donation eligible for USA income tax-deduction. If a donor does not need this USA income tax deduction, they can give directly to RAWA and reduce the cost to $14,500.

Costs at the orphanages in Pakistan have dramatically increased recently for many reasons including the increase in rents of over 50% due to the recent devastating earthquake. Unfortunately, these costs are even higher in war-torn Afghanistan. Even though the orphanage operating costs are still lower in Pakistan, RAWA has made the decision to work toward bringing all of its members home to Afghanistan. Maintaining programs in Pakistan forces staff and children to live as refugees. They could be compelled to leave at any time by the Pakistani government. As well, the children deserve to live in orphanages closer to their homes, where they can visit their remaining relatives as often as possible. Unfortunately, due to the recent increase in operating costs, the child sponsorship rates do not support all of the expected operating expenses for either Afghanistan or Pakistan based orphanages.

In an effort to keep individual child sponsorship prices as low as possible, RAWA is announcing the implementation of a second new program enable individuals or organizations to sponsor part of an orphanage's operating cost.

Donors can provide one-time or on-going operational support for these new orphanages. As the orphanage program grows, costs are expected to decline. In the future, the current child sponsorship rate may become sufficient to cover all operating expenses - but right now we need your help!

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