Show your support for Afghan Women’s Skills Development Centre

For women and girls escaping violence, a shelter can provide a life line. In Afghanistan, there were no shelters where women and girls could escape the violence that is endemic in the country. 

That was until 2002 when the amazing work of Afghan Women’s Skills Development Centre (AWSDC) changed things!

Pioneering women’s rights

This group of pioneering women’s rights activists set up the first ever shelter. Today there are around 20 shelters, which offer long term support, they also provide practical skills and support for women, including counselling and classes in literacy, computing, dressmaking and English classes. This support can help survivors start to rebuild their lives. 

It is thanks to their amazing work, despite difficult circumstances, that today AWSDC has helped 1389 women, girls and dependents. 

Vital work

AWSDC staff carry out vital work at great personal risk and face threats, intimidation and attacks.

‘..there is no protection for human rights defenders like us. No one is thinking of us and what will happen to us.’
Mary Akrami, founder of AWSDC

This is why we are asking you to send them a message of support to let Mary and her colleagues know that you are thinking of them as they carry out their vital and dangerous work. 

Download a casesheet and address labels for Afghan Women's Skills Development Centre

Message of support

Simply leave a message in the comments section below and we will make sure that they see it.
 

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201 comments

Dear Friends at AWSDC

I stand with you in solidarity and wish you strength and courage.
With all good wishes to you and your families and loved ones.


Georgia

georgialitherland 4 years ago

I am sending you my support from one woman to another - may you find peace and justice. Keep strong and care for each other...My heartfelt good wishes to each and every one of you.

sandyfowles 4 years ago

Dear Friends at AWSDC
You are in my thoughts. I do think of you and what may happen to you. I admire your courage and persistence. I hope that as our messages roll in you will feel the strength of our support.

MaryF 4 years ago

Dear Friends at AWSDC,
I stand with you in solidarity and wish you strength and courage. You didn't just curse the darkness, you lit a candle and you kept it burning. Even though it's not easy, you still keep it burning. Blessings to you, and the vital work that you do. I think that you are brave, beautiful and amazing women.
Warm wishes from Luci

Luci 4 years ago

You are so brave in the face of adversity and I truly hope you will find the courage and strength to continue your important work. I wish good luck and good health to you and your loved ones. Peace be with you.
Sally

flowerpot 4 years ago

Dear Friends at AWSDC
Keep up the excellent work, you are doing a great job.

Warm wishes,
Cheryl

Cheryl Andrews 4 years ago

Dear Friends at AWSDC,

You are doing great work and I support you in your work to improve the lives of women. I hope that you continue to have the strength and courage to change the world.

Warm wishes,
Jen

j.h 4 years ago

Dear friends at AWSDC,
I stand with you in solidarity and am inspired by
your strength and courage..
Warm regards,
Anna.

purplehurple 4 years ago

Dear Friends at AWSDC,
You are doing amazing work and your actions should be made aware to people all across the world. Stay strong - I stand with you in solidarity and wish you strength and courage. We will get there eventually.
Warm wishes,
Florence

flossbluesky 4 years ago

Dear Friends at AWSDC
Thank you so much for working so hard to protect and support my sisters in Afghanistan despite the risk you put yourself in every day. I'm so sorry that women are subjected to such horrific violence and inequality. I hope that one day women all around the world will be treated with the dignity and respect that all human beings deserve. You are an example to all of us about love in action and I am so proud of all of you. I do not consider myself free u til all my sisters are, so thank you for fighting for my freedom too. Lesley

misschristie 4 years ago

I admire your courage and determination to protect the women and girls of Afghanistan in such dificult and scary conditions, were women are so much under discrimination, violence, fear and abuse. I just hope one day world leadrs, tribal leaders and everyone with leadership responsabilites will understand that women are not half human but numan beings with so much potential and capacity to cotribute to society as men. I just hope one day these horrific days will be just a memory of the past.

oisinhelios 4 years ago

We are thinking of you and praying for your safety as you work for women's rights. You are very brave and what you are doing is so important. Stay strong!

Jomo 4 years ago

I admire your courage and determination and I just want you to know that people are aware of your continued struggle and we stand with you.

bde18 4 years ago

Dear friends at AWSDC
We so admire your courage and determination in the face of such widespread abuse and indifference to the difficult lives that many women endure in your country. Thank you for being so brave and we will remember you in our prayers. With love from two of your sisters in solidarity in England

browker 4 years ago

I am thinking of you and stand with you in solidarity in your efforts to bring positive change for women in Afghanistan. I wish you strength and courage as you continue in your difficult work.

Elderly Lady 4 years ago

I admire your bold stand for the rights of women to play a full part in Afghan society and know that your bravery will bear fruit. ! admire what my wife, daughter and two granddaughters bring to our society in UK and pray that your gifts will be fully used in your Afghan society.

edleq 4 years ago

Just to let you know that we are thinking of you and the excellent and vital work that you are doing in such difficult circumstances. Thank you for all your hard work in helping and protecting woman and girls. Wishing for your safety and your continued strength in the face of the obstacles ahead of you.

lostpenguin 4 years ago

I admire the important work that you do and stand with you in solidarity whilst you continue to make life better for women and girls.

ctanner 4 years ago

Dear Friends at AWSDC, I admire your work and stand with you in solidarity. I wish you strength and courage in your continued work to make life better for women and girls. Good luck and best wishes

Krystyna Deuss 4 years ago

Dear Friends at AWSDC, I admire your work and stand with you in solidarity. I wish you strength and courage in your continued work to make life better for women and girls. Good luck and best wishes

Krystyna Deuss 4 years ago

Dear Friends

Like many other people all over the world, I wish you courage and strength in your struggle to make life better for girls and women. Thank you for being brave enough to stand up for women's rights under such difficult circumstances. You are an inspiration to us all.

sinajina 4 years ago

Dear Friends at AWSDC
You are doing such admirable work to help the women and girls of Afghanistan and this will benefit all society. You inspire so many people across the world. I appreciate your bravery, strength and determination in continuing your important work. I wish you continued strength and safety and peace to you and all your friends and families. I send you love and support, and hold you in my thoughts.
Ann

anngraham26 4 years ago

Dearest Brave Friends at AWSDC,
My thoughts are with you always as you go about your incredible work. I love that you are working for your sisters and send faith and prayers for your safety every day. Do not doubt ever that I stand in solidarity with you. Please never, never, never, ever give up.
Love light and peace to you
Sandi

sandihill 4 years ago

Thank You so much for doing this work. Even in the west this would be an marvellous achievement in combating violence against women. That this work is pioneering in your country and goes against the dominant cultural values makes it all the more inspiring.

RebekahTarren 4 years ago

Dear friends at AWSDC,

Remember we are here
Involved for women
Genuinely passionate for
Helping anyone
To have their rights respected,
Solidarity with all women.

Would like to thank for
Offering hope to so
Many women with
Enough will power.
Never lose hope.

From Anaϊs, student at Essex

a.felder 4 years ago

Dear friends at AWSDC,
My little daughter and I are so grateful to you for your courage and bravery in standing up for the rights of women. You are an inspiration to us all! Karen and Lola

karenschumacher 4 years ago

Dear friends at AWSDC,
I admire your strength and courage in the work you do in difficult times and circumstances.
I stand fully with you in solidarity.
Alan Holloway
--

Alan Holloway 4 years ago

Dear Friends at AWSDC
I stand with you in solidarity and wish you strength and courage!

Rebecca Warren 4 years ago

Dear Friends at AWSDC
I admire your courage and your commitment to improve the lives of women in Afghanistan and to make your society a fairer and safer place for all women. I have written to President Karzai urging him to support your work and to call for an end to attacks against you and your colleagues.
What you do is an example to women all over the world. Be brave and stand firm. You are amazing!
Elisabeth Burleigh

eladora 4 years ago

Dear Friends at AWSDC,
I admire your strength and courage on your campaign to protect women and preserve their rights in Afghanistan. You all are an inspiration of bravery in the face of terror and you all are examples to follow in committing to helping others and standing up for your rights. I stand with you in solidarity and I stand by your fight against violence to women, and I pray that in your struggle you will succeed and make a difference to women's tights in Afghanistan.
You are all examples to women all over the world. Keep being brave and be firm in your actions and beliefs. You have a supporter in me!
Hannah Liebeschuetz

hliebeschuetz 4 years ago

We wish you courage and strength in these difficult times.

Dralla 4 years ago

I wish you strength and success in your campaign. Bravery you already have!

vogler 4 years ago

Thank you for your wonderful work. You are not forgotten.Please keep going on making a difference. I support you and all you stand for and want you to be safe.

diana_3 4 years ago

Dear Friends at AWSDC

Your story is the news we seldom hear but the world needs to know.

You inspire, you teach, you motivate and you change your world person by person. Your courage uplifts, gives hope and shines a light on that which is possible.
While I can not be there in person , I am there in spirit to support you, to thank you and to share your storyt as far and wide as I am able.

pmassy 4 years ago

I think you are very courageous women, and represent the best of humanity as you persevere despite the huge obstacles before you. What a difference you make to the lives of women and children! There are many that stand with you in support.

JK1 4 years ago

I stand with you in solidarity and wish you strength and courage in the face of oppression. People all across the globe are now becoming aware of the violence and brutality that the woman of Afghanistan are enduring everyday, your work is invaluable, change is in the air.

hibbsey222 4 years ago

Dear friends at AWSDC,

I stand with you in solidarity and wish you strength and courage. Under the fear of violence and all other uncertainties, I appreciate how brave you are to fight with the adversity life. You are the bravest woman I have ever seen. I hope you will live happily under the protection and help from the staff. You are in my pray.

Candy

candywong30 4 years ago

With you in mind and spirit. You are strong and courageous. Keep going
Karen

Ke 4 years ago

Dear Mary and all at AWSDC,

I am full of admiration for your strength and bravery amidst adversity. It is people like you who change the world for the better. There is a brighter future for the women and children of Afghanistan, thanks to you.
Rachel

rachelsekules 4 years ago

Dear Mary, and everyone at Afghan Women’s Skills Development Centre,

I stand with you in solidarity and wish you strength and courage in your effort to improve women's lives in your country under very difficult and oppressive circumstances.

Yvette 4 years ago

Dear Mary and AWSDC members,
All my best wishes for your important work. We will continue to campaign and support you from the UK

Ursula 4 years ago

Dear Mary and the AWSDC team
We are thinking of you and the amazing work you are doing. When it feels tough, focus on the difference you are making to the lives of women and young girls every single day. Keep faith, feel courage and know we are championing you.

JoBar 4 years ago

We are thinking of you in these difficult times and wish you courage.
With all our support

Dralla 4 years ago

Dear Mary & all at AWSDC,
Having had the pure luck and privilege to have been born & raised in the UK I can barely imagine the difficulties you face on a daily basis, and can only wonder at the amazing strength you display in dealing with them.
You're an inspiration to us all, and I wish you every success in your efforts to build a safer, fairer world.

Samantha Allen 4 years ago

Dear Friends at AWSDC,
We stand with you in solidarity and wish you strength and courage. You are an inspiration to us all and we admire all of the work that you do to bring justice and equality to the lives of many.
Jasmine and Sarah

Jasmine and Sarah 4 years ago

Dear Friends at AWSDC

I am writing to you today to voice my support for all involved in the Afghan Women Skills Development Centre. I am happy to stand alongside the AWSDC in solidarity and to pay tribute to the group for all the vital work done in the face of considerable danger.

I can only imagine the challenges that your group must have faced over the last fifteen years since its founding, a period during which your country has witnessed tumultuous upheavals and radical societal change. I understand that the work the group carries out protecting and advancing the rights of women in Afghanistan exposes members of the group and their associates to considerable personal danger. I sincerely hope that the threats, intimidation and violence which confront your group through your work will never deter you from the noble cause that it pursues.

That the future of any nation is a brighter and better place to live than its past is dependent on the expansion of equality for all its members and on access to education. True liberty is impossible in any society without these. The AWSDC represents a beacon of hope for a more equal future.

I hope that the AWSDC can continue to grow, bringing the positive difference it makes to even more lives and that the group’s goals can be achieved. I would like to take this opportunity to offer you my very best wishes for the future. Long may your courageous endeavours continue to be met with success and your bravery rewarded with the pride of knowing that you are building a better world.

Yours sincerely and in admiration

Jamie Hepburn
Member of the Scottish Parliament for Cumbernauld and Kilsyth

Jamie Hepburn 4 years ago

I think the work you are doing is an effective way of improving life for Afghan women. I wish you strength and courage.

linda 4 years ago

Dear friends at AWSDC,

Please keep up the amazing work you are doing! I can only imagine the difficulties you are facing, but as a teacher, I really know how important your work is. The future of Afghanistan will be brighter because of you all. Education is the key to a better life, and it will not just be the women you support who benefit from your work. Their families will have a better life, and you can also act as an inspiration to the rest of the world, because of your bravery and determination to fight for a good cause.

Good luck with everything you do.

Jo

jvbradley28 4 years ago

Just keep going Helen

Toledo67 4 years ago

I think you are all very brave to be standing up for women's rights in Afghanistan. The work of the Afghan Women's Skills Development Centre will help to improve the lives of women and their families. I commend your courage and I wish you well in your task.
Anna

anna-stone 4 years ago