Operating as an NGO in Afghanistan and a 501c (3) in the United States, the Bayat Foundation was founded in 2006 to channel support to at-risk and under-served Afghans. Headed by Ehsan Bayat, the founder of Afghan Wireless, the Bayat Foundation has facilitated the development of a number of important programs that not only provide short-term emergency assistance to those in need, but also establish a means of sustainable empowerment through various educational initiatives.
To learn more about some of the Bayat Foundation’s most important projects, please read below.
With the second highest infant mortality rate in the world, Afghanistan is in desperate need of proper health care for pregnant mothers, infants, and young children. Unfortunately, many infant deaths are caused by a lack of access to basic medical care, such as vaccinations or treatment for common illnesses. The Bayat Foundation has addressed this issue by building a network of 10 maternity hospitals throughout the country, some of which are currently being evaluated for deployment of sonogram technology that will send images of the fetus to doctors in the United States for examination.
In April 2011, the Bayat Foundation opened two new maternity hospitals. Bibi Khairi Gul, located in Hessa Dawam, and Shirin Taj, located in Tagaab Village. Both hospitals feature accommodations for 30 patients, in addition to a complete electrical system, delivery room, recovery room, pharmacy, and more. Currently, the Bayat Foundation is working on delivering additional hospital equipment to maternity clinics throughout Afghanistan.
Since it was founded, the Bayat Foundation has funded several initiatives dedicated to empowering women. In 2010, the Bayat Foundation announced three different Empower Women Grants in the amount of $10,000 to be given to the Justice For All Organization (JFAO), the Business Council for Peace (BPeace), and Women for Women International (WfWi).
Dedicated to giving Afghan women adequate legal representation, JFAO works with accused or imprisoned women who do not fully understand their rights under Afghanistan law. Additionally, JFAO, which was founded by various judges, lawyers, and prosecutors, works with women to help them prepare for professional positions in the legal field.
Similarly, BPeace is also dedicated to preparing Afghan women for jobs. With the goal of creating 1 million jobs throughout a thousand Afghan communities, BPeace seeks to reduce violence in underserved communities by stimulating the local economy through job growth.
WfWi is an organization that channels assistance to women affected by war. The organization’s one-year program is specifically designed to equip women with the tools and resources needed to acquire a job and earn an income.
Devastated by violence, war, and political unrest, many Afghan families live in poverty with inadequate access to food, shelter, or warm clothing. To help families in need, the Bayat Foundation organized the Family Sponsorship Program, which was designed to match families with donors who pay a monthly stipend of $50. The families, many of whom do not live in areas with running water, use the funds to pay for necessities such as food, shelter, and medication.
In addition to the Family Sponsorship Program, the Bayat Foundation has also spearheaded a number of food drives, feeding hundreds of families who are living in deprivation. Most recently, the Bayat Foundation distributed packages with staples such as rice, flour, sugar, tea, and oil to over 700 families during the 2011 Ramadan holiday.
Since 2008, the Bayat Foundation has also funded a yearly program that distributes packages containing winter necessities. With harsh temperatures that regularly plummet to below freezing, winter in Afghanistan is an exceptionally difficult time of the year for families in need. Through the generosity of donors and volunteers, the Bayat Foundation provides winter aid packages that include food, blankets, gloves, hats, socks, shoes, and tents to families in a number of Afghan provinces
Due to extreme poverty that drives children to take to the streets to beg for money and food or work to help out their families, educational development regularly goes by the wayside. To that end, educational facilities are often not available to children and their families. The Bayat Foundation has directly addressed this issue by building schools and learning centers for Afghanistan’s poorest populations, such as refugees and orphans.
Past projects include the refurbishment of the Taha Maskan Orphanage and Learning Center in Kabul, construction of the Bibi Fatima Zahra School for Orphans in Maimana, renovation of the Chill Dokhtaran Girls School in Kabul, and construction of the Ayenda Learning Center in the Bamyan province.
In November 2011, the Bayat Foundation facilitated the construction of a girls’ school in Herat. The town, which already had a school for boys, lacked educational resources for girls, which contributed to the existing poverty issues in the area.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), over 3 million people die each year from illness and disease related to unsafe drinking water. In Afghanistan alone, UNICEF reports that less than one quarter of the population has access to clean water. The Bayat Foundation works to remedy this issue by digging wells in areas without access to clean water. To date, the Bayat Foundation has helped to dig four water wells in Dashte-e-Barchi and Arzan and two water wells in Kabul.
How to Get Involved
The Bayat Foundation offers a variety of ways to contribute to Afghanistan’s development, ranging from fundraising and volunteering to public speaking. To find out how you can help, call (904) 686-1470 or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.