Najia Nasim (Bucknell 2013), Country Manager for Women for Afghan Women, and her work with the children of women imprisoned at the Pul-e-Charki facility in Kabul were featured in the December 30, 2017 New York Times article, Some Afghan Children Find an Alternative to Jail — for Now by Rod Nordland.
Najia visits the facility on a regular basis to find children eligible to be freed from prison and cared for at the Children's Support Center in Kabul, one of four orphanages run by Women for Afghan Women and financed by the United States government. These children are imprisoned with their mothers because no one else in their family is willing or able to care for them. Only children older than 5 are eligible to be cared for in outside support centers.
The article tells the story of Dahlia, a precocious, toilet trained toddler able to dress herself, and her mother, who begged Najia to take her despite her age. “Her mother would always say, ‘The last time when you didn’t take her, she cried all day.’ I couldn’t help it,” Najia said.
The article also points out the tentative financing of the orphanages which costs about $2 million annually to operate. The American government expects the Afghan government to support the orphanages next year, but Afghan officials say they do not have the funding or capacity to do so.
“Her mother would always say, ‘The last time when you didn’t take her, she cried all day.’
I couldn’t help it."
- Najia Nasim (Bucknell 2013)