What we do
SAWA- NSW is part of an Australia wide organisation of volunteers working with Afghan women in Afghanistan to further their rights in all areas. At present our partner in Afghanistan is OPAWC – Organization of Promoting Afghan Women’s Capabilities.
From 2010, when the NSW Association was incorporated separately from South Australia until 2016, SAWA – NSW funded Hewad School in Rawalpindi, Pakistan, run by RAWA, the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan.
The co-educational school catered for Afghan refugees from grades 1-12, offering an Afghan curriculum which qualified graduates to return to university in Kabul. The school closed at the end of January 2016 as many refugees had been required to return home or find refuge in another country and few girls were continuing on to their final year.
From May 2016, SAWA – NSW has funded English and computer classes in a village in Khewa district of Nangarhar Province of Afghanistan run by OPAWC. The Centre expanded in 2018 to include tailoring, dressmaking and basic literacy for a group of women who are very poor and often illiterate.
SAWA – NSW has bought computers, sewing machines and furniture and funds ongoing expenses of maintenance, materials, teachers, rent, heating and security.
SAWA – NSW raises funds through lunches, dinners, film shows and appeals for donations. SAWA – NSW seeks information about current problems and concerns of women in Afghanistan through contacts with Afghan women, talks, films and other local sources such as Afghan Women on the Move, a very proactive group with a wide range of interests.
We share these concerns and news of what we do through contributing a page to the SAWAN newsletter published four times a year by SAWA – SA.
Usually once a year SAWA – NSW raises funds to purchase birthing kits from the Birthing Kit Foundation and organises a group of volunteers to pack them for despatch to countries with few medical facilities for pregnant women including to Afghanistan.