Red Pants for the World is a project designed to support an army of young women living created lives, altering the planet. We are committed to all women living great lives despite their circumstances. Our first program is to support the women in rural Afghanistan.

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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

NAFISSA'S STORY

Biography of Nafi Nassim

Nafi Nassim was born in Kabul January 16, 1949. She studied and became a nurse in her home country. She was granted a scholarship from the French government, enabling her to complete her training in Lyon from 1970 to 1972. Nafi Nassim then worked as a trained nurse in Iran; this is where she was informed of the communist State Coup in Afghanistan in February of 1978.

Back in Afghanistan, she was confronted with the disappearance of her husband, imprisoned and tortured. The 1979 Soviet intervention made the Afghan government all the more repressive: Nafi’s brother disappeared, her son was taken by force to the USSR to be trained as a diesel engine specialist, at the age of 14.

Life in Kabul becoming unbearable for her and her family, Nafissa decided to leave clandestinely in March 1981 with her 13-year-old daughter for Teheran. Once her daughter was safe with good friends there, she later undertook a second clandestine trip from Teheran to Kabul to go and get her mother and then from Kabul to Teheran, smuggling herself again between the Soviet army checkpoints.

Stopped at the Iran border by the Iranian army she was imprisoned. Free after a few days, she remained clandestinely in Iran for 7 months, healing the wounded people from the Iran/Irak war, until she finally was granted political asylum in France in the fall of 1981.

She resumed her studies to be a nurse as the Afghan degree was no longer recognized by the French educational system and finally obtained her State Registered Nurse Degree.

She had just obtained her degree when she left once more, this time to go and get her son who in the meantime had been enrolled by force into the communist Afghan army. She worked during two painstaking years in the Afghan refugee camps in Pakistan to be able to lead her investigations with the help of the Afghan Mujahiddin.

She managed to enter Afghanistan once again, clandestinely, in 1988 where she retrieved her son, helped him desert the army with the help of anti-soviet resistance people, to finally go to Pakistan and then on to France in October 1989.

Nafissa became a French citizen in January 1997.

This part of her own history is retraced in her book entitled “From Kabul to Marseilles” (translated in German and Czech language but unfortunately not available in English).

Settled as a SRN in Marseilles she returned to Afghanistan as soon as the Talibans were defeated and since then, almost every year, continues to contribute and help the Afghan population.

She has participated in many conferences and meetings in France, speaking her own voice and vision of an Afghanistan rid of any fundamentalism or ethnic privilege.

In 2005 she founded, with a few friends, the association « Solidarité Provence Afghanistan » whose objective is to help the most unprivileged Afghans and raise awareness on the Afghan culture in France. This association is presently composed of 90 members in Marseilles and surroundings. This Non Governmental Organization is especially intended to help in Afghanistan onsite, particularly schools through bringing pencils, pens, writing books etc as well as the most unprivileged families through bringing first need goods such as rice, soap, matches, oil, sugar, tea etc.

The association raises funds in South of France through the organization of Afghan music, meals, attire shows of various provinces. Upon request Nafi Nassim speaks for school teachers and pupils presenting them with the political situation in Afghanistan and women’s condition.

The association Solidarité Provence Afghanistan, chaired by Nafi, is a Non Governmental Organization helping populations without taking a direct political side. As most French NGO's, Solidarité Provence Afghanistan is not inclined either for or against the occidental military presence; we do not wish to substitute for the government authority or the Parliament. In any case, help for the population is necessary. Of course a country cannot evolve without a minimum security which is not possible without development and respect of the populations. NGOs’ first goal is a help to the development of Afghanistan.

Nafi Nassim, with her friend Sylvie Orsoni, also wrote a cooking book of Afghan receipes entitled « Parfums et couleurs de la cuisine afghane » Editions de l’Aube, unfortunately not available in English.

Pictures from Afghanistan




SOLIDARITE PROVENCE AFGHANISTAN



SOLIDARITE PROVENCE AFGHANISTAN

(A Few words about the association)

Created in March 2005, this association aims to bring assistance to Afghan people (especially in what concerns health and scholarship), and to organize cultural and informative meetings about Afghanistan.

The association is not linked to any political strength, nor French or Afghan. Neither does it have religious views. In fact, its action is more headed towards Human Rights defense, and it believes in a society that would not be based on ethnical criteria.
The association "Solidarité Provence Afghanistan" is a regional one which goal is not to interfere in the big work necessary to the country reconstruction. Indeed, our association wants to specialize into bringing help to the population by giving them necessary things that are missing in many villages but can be found easily in bigger cities : school furnitures, tissue, soap, box ot matches, sugar, rice...

"Solidarité Provence Afghanistan" offers to work in partnership with other associations that pursue the same objectives, at a national or regional scale.

According to the guiding principles of sustainable development, we give priority to local techniques. In 2005, 2006 and 2007, we particularly helped a little village near Ghazni by giving people who were in need vital aids. In this village and around, 1700 scholar kits were handed out in 2006 and 1000 in 2007. Our aim is to reduce the number of go-between by giving directly, in the form of useful products bought on the spot, the money collected in France during public meetings and thanks to the members of the association.

Each year, two members of the association travel to Kaboul, the journey paid for by their own means. Before they go, an administration council decides on how much money they should be given, and what they should do with it. The association works with permanent contacts in Aghanistan so that the help would not depend to much on the travels, which can be postponed for security reasons.

The association put its knowledge at the disposal of other organizations that intervene to help Afghan people. Indeed, it offers its services in what concerns translation and training programs, especially.

The association also acts in France, in order to make the Afghan culture better known : parties are organized around Afghan musicians or poets. The association can intervene on demand in schools and cultural centers in order to tell people about the nowadays situation in Afghanistan, but also about this country history or its women situation. The cultural intervention in PACA is absolutely necessary to the action on the spot, in Afghanistan, since it is during these meetings that we ask people for gifts and memberships.

The more occidental countries and their people will care about Afghanistan, the less fundamentalist influences would be observed.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Nafissa

Through Dominique, a great friend in Paris, we now have a project to work for: Nafissa is an extraordinary Afghani woman who lives in France and devotes much of her time to traveling in and out of Afghanistan, bringing resources, in particular educational, to rural villages where few NPO's go.

I'll paste in her story on another post

Judi - Red Pants

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Residing Bloomington, Indiana for twenty years, my life is about all people living created lives. I am a four book contracted fiction writer, a thirty-five year graduate of the work of transformation with Landmark Education and est, and I love my life, my fantastic daughter, Rudi and my ex-husband, Keith.