Friday, January 29, 2010

First Fund-raiser for Afghanistan Project

Owing to us being bogged down with the fund-raising events in the last few months of 2009, with the wrapping up of the year and the planning for the new year, this blog post is admittedly late in its release. But now that we have recuperated from 2009 fatigue, are set for the new year, and the excitement of the new projects is kicking in again, it's actually easy and quite fun to recall how the Afghanistan fund-raiser went in Nov 2009. It's better late than never right!

Close to 70 people joined in the bustling energy that filled the room at Seattle Public Library on November 15, 2009. Some were our Seattle-based Afghan friends, others came from Microsoft, Harvard business school club of Puget sound, and Harvard club of seattle, joined by our always-there-for-us dream-makers in Seattle.

In an intimate setting, the Afghan music playing in the background only added to the warm aura of the room. We had a table with Rubia products and thanks to Amena, and in fact the Wardak family as a whole, there was titillating mainly-home-made Afghan food awaiting us. (In case, you're wondering Rubia is the organization we have partnered with for our project in Afghanistan). For me personally, the exciting bit was a dreamwall section where we had pictures from dreamwall Pakistan and lots of pics of our children from dreamfly Pakistan and children from Jalalabad. People left personal notes for the kids and got their pictures taken which we will take to the kids.

We showed videos about dreamfly and Afghanistan. Mona and Umaimah spoke about dreamfly's journey to-date and what we’re looking to accomplish in Afghanistan. A young kid from Afghanistan, Akmal, who’s an exchange student from Jalalabad in Seattle also spoke and thanked all the attendees for their support to build a school in his home-town (it was very moving J).

Friday, January 22, 2010

Looking back at 2009 with dreamfly

It's been a year since i officially joined dreamfly and i can say looking back at the year i cannot be happier with the decision. It all started with my journey in TCF, and the dreamfly school in Badin that was being discussed between the dreamfly founders and TCF team. It was just inspiring, how passionately, just within a year, HBS students and Microsoft employees came together to fund the building of the school and the little kids of Badin saw their first formal school with the happiness that cannot be compared with any thing else in the world.

Since then dreamfly has become more ambitious and better equipped than before.
With the strength of its supporters, the success of its first school and the happy stories of its 200 little kids our dreams have become bigger and more real. We want a world empowered and united through literacy, education and communication. With the observation that technology and communication can break artificial barriers and boundaries built by humans, we realize that we can ease the access to these by providing avenues and by creating literacy in the impoverished areas.

And we set out on this venture, looking back at which we didn't do too bad for the year 2009 :)...

  1. It only made sense that the first barrier to be broken is with the neighbors of our first school. Our next project will be in Afghanistan.
  2. We visited Afghanistan in Spring to figure out where the most need was and which organizations would be most suited for our purposes. You can read about this trip in our blog posts called "Our first day in Afghanistan", "Our second day in Afghanistan" and "How I Found Afghanistan".
  3. We are starting a primary school and women's craft centre in Jalalabad, Afghanistan scheduled to start in Spring 2010.
  4. For this project, we partnered with Rubia which will handle all donations and will be responsible for the on-ground execution of the project.
  5. We also went to Pakistan and met with the dreamfly kids there. We built a dreamwall with them. Our first ever dreamfly dreamwall and we just cant wait until we can build one in the Jalalabad school too!
  6. dreamfly went super online! We have a fan page on facebook which is constantly updated with news, photos and updates from us, we can be followed on twitter and maintain this blog, and we love hearing from our supporters!
  7. We expanded our volunteer-based core team this year too to include some great people helping us coordinate our project in Afghanistan, our future plans and related projects, our social networking and much more! (PS: Watch out for an update on our website really soon so u can meet these fun people!)
  8. We also held successful fundraisers for our Afghanistan project in the latter half of the year. Watch out on this blog for more details about how this went!

With all of this excitement and busy-ness, I just can't wait to see how this year will turn out for dreamfly....and what's more I just can't wait to share all these with our bestest dream-makers!