Enabled Children Initiative is an independent non-profit registered in the US as a 501 c3, as a charity in the UK, and as a charity in Afghanistan. ECI supports orphaned and abandoned children with disabilities, and those at risk of being abandoned, in Afghanistan. We work to improve the children’s quality of life and help them reach their full potential. Our staff are all volunteers, which means 100% of funds raised go directly to the benefit of the children we support, their caretakers, and educators.
ECI provides comprehensive residential services to support orphans with disabilities in one private care home in Kabul, Window of Hope, and works with the UK charity Children in Crisis to provide support to orphans with disabilities residing in the two state orphanages in Kabul--Allahuddin, and Tahia Maskan. ECI is in the process of building a Community Center in Kabul that will include comprehensive rehabilitative and support services, a school and daycare, a vocational training program for adults, as well as a limited residential space for abandoned children with disabilities and an independent living home to accommodate those children as they transition to adulthood.
ECI provides a unique service in Afghanistan not currently offered by the Afghan government or other NGOs. We provide a safety net to some the most vulnerable children in need of protection and nurturing.
Board of Trustees
Director and Board of Trustees
Lael is director of the Enabled Children Initiative, which she founded in 2012. She has lived and worked in Afghanistan since 2009.
UK Board of Trustees
Laila is currently serving as a Human Rights Officer for the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in Geneva. From 2009 to 2013, she worked in Afghanistan. Laila volunteered at Window of Hope private care home in Kabul from 2010 to 2014.
UK Board of Trustees
Karen works for Leicestershire County Council in the UK as a family support worker. From 2007 to 2012, she worked for Children in Crisis in Kabul as a Social Work Advisor and volunteered at Window of Hope. Involvement with several cases of abandoned children with special needs prompted her to become involved in advocating for support for these children.
US Board of Trustees
Siavash is currently the Rule of Law Specialist at The Asia Foundation in Kabul where he works on legal aid policy and legal education. In Afghanistan, he has worked with the Open Society Foundation, the International Development Law Organization, and the International Legal Foundation. He has volunteered at Window of Hope care home since 2009.
US Board of Trustees
Jennifer has been with Al Jazeera English since 2011 and is now a correspondent in Kabul in Afghanistan. She has reported across continents for multiple news organizations since 1993. In 1997, she won an Overseas Press Club award for her work in Zaire and in 2003 she received a Gracie Allen award.
UK Board of Trustees
Bethan Silcox serves as Womankind’s Major Grants Manager. She has 13 years’ experience of working in international development, previously with Children in Crisis and Sense International. She has worked in Afghanistan, and volunteered with ECI UK since its inception.
Shahin Mafi is the founder and CEO of Home Health Connection, Inc. (HHC). Shahin was born and raised in Tehran, Iran, and attended university in the USA. In 1990, Shahin moved to the United States to join her family. In addition to her many business ventures and nonprofit work, Shahin has a strong interest in human rights issues around the world. Drawing from her work experience in human rights and a desire to provide resources on a more impactful level, Shahin established the Azar Foundation for Children of the World in 2003 in order to promote the health and security of mother and child. Shahin is one of ECI’s strong supporters in the United States.
Diana Bowen is a lawyer who has held multiple positions in support of governance, national parliamentary assistance programs, and civil society programs in Afghanistan over the past several years. Diana most recently served as Chief of Party for the International Development Law Organization in Afghanistan. Diana has been a long-time supporter of the children at Window of Hope, visiting them regularly during her time in Afghanistan.
Sadat Mansoor Naderi
Sadat Mansoor Naderi is an Afghan businessman and politician belonging to one of Afghanistan’s most prominent spiritual families. He most recently served as the Minister of Urban Development and Housing from 2015 until 2017. During his tenure as Minister of Urban Development, he was awarded by the President of Afghanistan the highest civilian honor, the Wazir Akbar Khan medal, for the reforms and anti-corruption efforts he led at the ministry. Mr. Naderi has been a strong supporter, and one of the first, of ECI’s endeavor to build a disability support center in Kabul.
Isabel Hodge is the Executive Director at the United States International Council on Disabilities (USICD) and the Vice President of Disabled Peoples’ International North American Caribbean (DPI NAC). She is originally from Glasgow, Scotland and a Marine Corps veteran. Prior to joining USICD in 2015, she was a Senior Program Analyst at the U.S. Department of Defense’s Office of Special Needs, an Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP) Specialist for Headquarters Marine Corps and an installation EFMP Program Manager.
Ilaha Eli Omar
Ilaha Eli Omar Is a social impact expert who spent the early half of her career building a successful technical staffing company, and is now devoted to international development work. She helps NGOs transition from donor-based dependency to self-sustainable entities. She is a firm believer that the greatest impact lies in fostering sustainable results for the beneficiary, while building a strong legacy of social good for the philanthropist. Ilaha is a member of the US-Afghan Women’s Council and, though born in Kabul, now resides in San Francisco, California. She has volunteered with ECI for the past two years.
Window of Hope
ECI funds Window of Hope, which provides care to 33 Afghan children and youths with disabilities who have been abandoned or orphaned. The home also provides in-home schooling.
ECI Community Center
ECI is now working on building a comprehensive support center for persons and children with disabilities aimed at social integration. The Community Center will include comprehensive rehabilitative and support services, a school and daycare, a vocational training program for adults, as well as a limited residential space for abandoned children with disabilities and an independent living home to accommodate those children as they transition to adulthood. We are doing this in collaboration with the Afghan government.
Supporting Orphans with Disabilities in State Orphanages
ECI partners with Street Child UK and the Afghan Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs to provide comprehensive care to orphans with disabilities residing in two state orphanages in Kabul—Allahuddin and Tahia Maskan.
ECI has established two crisis funds to help families with children with disabilities who face desperate situations.
Mirza Gul Family Fund
In April 2018, a bomb exploded in Nangarhar near the home of the Mirza Gul family which took the life of their mother and three siblings. The remaining 7 children all became amputees. Funds raised for the family are used to provide an in-home school for the children, since they are not yet able to make the journey to the local school.
Inspired by Window of Hope house mother Frozan's spirit of giving, ECI launched the Frozan fund for families with children with disabilities in desperate situations. The fund helps these families stay together and get back on their own feet.
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