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AGS is under the auspices of Orange Grove Monthly Meeting - a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization.
Is my contribution tax deductible?
Yes. Afghan Refugee Girls' Schools is under the auspices of Orange Grove Monthly Meeting (OGMM). OGMM – the Pasadena, California (USA), meeting of the Religious Society of Friends ("Quakers") – is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization. Donations are tax-deductible for US tax payers.
You can donate via PayPal by clicking on the "Donate Now" button above. Checks can be made to "OGMM-AGS" and mailed to Afghan Girls' Schools c/o Orange Grove Monthly Meeting, 520 E. Orange Grove Blvd., Pasadena, CA 91104.
Where does the money go?
Our our governing and fundraising committees volunteer their time and materials, so 100% of funds contributed go directly to our schools. Our total annual budget is currently $57,000.
Our largest expense is teachers' salaries, paid in accordance with the Pakistani government's wage standards for teachers. $130 pays a teacher's salary for one month. $100 educates one girl for a year. $5 buys a school uniform. $20 pays for a truckload of mud for building repairs. $60 buys a sewing machine for a girl graduating grade 6. $10 provides a girl with school supplies.
Inflation is high in Pakistan and exchange rates fluctuate hourly, making budgeting and purchasing decisions a challenge. However, we keep up with costs and paying salaries, expenses and supplies on a monthly basis.
In Fall 2013, the school received a one-time donation for the purchase of 8 computers and a muti-media projector. Our teachers participated in a week-long training program on how to use the new computers to enhance teaching and learning.
Do you accept in-kind donations?
We do not accept donations of school supplies and other materials. Not only is the shipping cost prohibitive, but supplies and materials are actually less costly in Pakistan.
How can my students or youth group participate?
Young people are welcome to write letters to our students. We have also had students and youth groups put on their own fundraisers and donate the proceeds to our schools. Contact us. We would be happy to brainstorm with you. Read here about a California-based Girl Scout who's award-winning project made a big difference to graduating sixth graders in Pakistan.
Does attending these schools put the girls in danger?
The California Committee is assured that given the strong support of the local families and the community Elders, our schools are safe and functioning smoothly in spite of the difficult situation in the region. There have been no reports of threats or harassment toward our students.
Are these religious schools?
Our students are Muslim girls. The schools teach the standard curriculum for Pakistan and Afghanistan, which includes lessons in Islamiat. The schools are not affiliated with nor do they promote any western religion or western philosophy.
We also teach sewing and embroidery and provide a sewing machine to each sixth grade graduate. A more detailed description of our schools and curriculum can be found on the About Our Schools page.
Have you been to Pakistan to visit the schools?
Yes, until recently, two members of the California Committee traveled to Pakistan twice annually to visit the schools and meet with community members, faculty and parents. These visits have been temporarily discontinued due to increased political instability in northwest Pakistan. Fortunately, a Committee member with family in northwest Pakistan was able to tour the schools in mid-2014.
A local committee of Pakistani educators conducts school visits on our behalf and reports back to our California Committee. In addition, a small local NGO, Direct Focus Community Aid (DFCA), assists with school governance on the ground in Pakistan.
Are you affiliated with the United Nations?
Our schools are located within a refugee camp run by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). We operate with their permission and guidance. Representatives of the UNHCR sit on our advisory committee in Pakistan.
Will the girls be repatriated to Afghanistan?
While repatriation efforts are underway, the timeline is unpredictable. There are an estimated 2.5 million Afghan refugees living in Pakistan, and it will take time to relocate all of them. Meanwhile, we do not know how much longer the camp in Akora Khattak will remain open. It is our intention to continue educating our students for as long as possible to give them the best advantage upon return to their homeland. Continued financial support is needed if we are to fulfill on our commitment to both our students and faculty if and when repatriation occurs.