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Estonia to Help Women and Orphans Affected by Conflict in Afghanistan

06.06.2011

No. 199-E

The Foreign Ministry is supporting the project of the NPO Mondo to create a system that actively involves Estonian society in supporting widows, single mothers, orphans and street children that are struggling in Afghanistan.

Foreign Minister Paet said that Afghanistan is one of the world’s poorest countries and its human development indicators are some of the lowest. “A large part of the population lives in complete poverty, particularly widowed women and their children,” stated Foreign Minister Paet. “Estonian residents have the opportunity to make a personal contribution to helping Afghan women and children,” he added.

In co-operation with local partners in Afghanistan, Afghan mothers that are facing difficulties will be offered better opportunities for getting by on their own and caring for their children. The goal of the project is also to improve opportunities for street children to attend school and improve residents’ knowledge of health care.

Mondo has practical experience with supporting widows and orphans in Ghana and Kenya in Africa, where over the course of two years a similar system was created to help women and children through sponsorship and purchasing ethical gifts via the portal www.muudamaailma.ee.

Due to the long-lasting war in Afghanistan, the country has the highest concentration of widows in the world. Their problems include social exclusion, forced marriage, violence, and a lack of economic and educational opportunities. There is no social security in Afghan society. As a consequence of becoming widowed, many women are forced to care for their children alone, and they generally lack basic education and skills with which they could earn a living. They are forced to live in poverty and send their children to work instead of to school.

Additional information on Estonia’s contribution in Afghanistan: http://www.vm.ee/?q=en/node/4080

SPOKESPERSON’S OFFICE
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