Enabled Children Initiative is an independent non-profit registered in the US as a 501 c3 and as a charity in the UK. ECI supports orphaned and abandoned disabled children, or 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 disabled orphans in one private care home in Kabul, Window of Hope, and works with the UK charity Children in Crisis to provide support to disabled orphans residing in the two-state orphanages in Kabul, Allahuddin, and Tahia Maskan. ECI also works to prevent institutionalization of children and reintegrate children with their families through a pilot program in Kabul province that enables families with disabled children to care for their child within the home.
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.
We need your support to continue our work.
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.
ECI Community Centre
ECI RESIDENTIAL AND REHABILITATIVE CENTRE
ECI is now working on building a large residential and rehabilitative center with a special needs school in the Qasaba area of Kabul. We are doing this in collaboration with the Afghan government. It’s a long journey and we have just embarked on it.
For more information please see here.
Mirza Gul Family fund
Donate to ECI’s special fund established to provide long-term support to the Mirza Gul family, whose seven children suffered multiple amputations in a single landmine explosion in April 2018.
Civilian casualties and landmine explosions increased in 2017 across Afghanistan. One family in Nangarhar province experienced a tragedy in April 2018 that is too much for one family to bear. Even the Chief of Orthopedic Services at Nangarhar Regional Hospital, Dr. Sayed Bilal Miakhel, who has seen his share of amputations, said that he had felt like crying while in the operating theater.
ECI wants to raise funds for prosthetics, physiotherapy treatment, transportation to and from treatment, wheelchairs, crutches, an in-home teacher for the children, an in-home caretaker, as well as any other necessary supplies that would be required for their care and rehabilitation.
In the early morning hours of April 29th, in the rural province of Nangarhar, not far from Jalalabad city, 10 children from the Mirza Gul family were playing outside their home. The night before, Afghan government soldiers had been fighting the Taliban nearby but by morning, all seemed quiet again. The children noticed a strange object on the ground and gathered around it as though it were a new toy. Two of the younger children picked it up to examine it. The eldest of the children, 16-year-old Jalil, recognized it to be an unexploded rocket from the previous night’s battle. He tried to wrestle it away from them, but the rocket exploded. By sunset that same day, Jalil was dead, along with his 4-year-old cousin, Safwa, her mother, Brekhna, who had been nearby, and another cousin who was only 6 years old. The 7 surviving children each lost one or both legs. For a detailed account of the story, read the New York Times’ coverage here.
Since the incident occurred, the children have undergone multiple operations to address complications from their wounds. The children have now returned home, but are making frequent trips to the hospital for follow up care. Dr. Najibullah Kamawal, head of the Nangarhar Public Health Department, said each of the children need one-on-one care, and that the rehabilitation and treatment they need requires a better-equipped center. Two of the survivors, Marwa, 4, and Rabia, 7, toss and turn in their beds trying to find a position that will alleviate some of their pain, often in tears. Their siblings and cousins that lie in the beds around them have also shed many tears, some from pain and some from a desire to simply go home. Shafiqullah, 13, who lost both of his legs, pleaded with doctors to let him go home so he wouldn’t miss his school exam and fall behind on his studies.
ECI is raising funds to address the immediate and long-term needs of the family, including an in-home teacher for the children, an in-home caretaker, as well as any other necessary supplies that will be required for their specialized care and rehabilitation over the years. ECI is a volunteer run organization, thus 100 % of your donation will go directly to the family.
As of June 16, 2018 we have raised $6,410 in the US and £915 in the UK.
IMPORTANT: Please include the code "MGFF" in your PayPal donation comment.