Friday, May 15, 2009

The Afghanistan Challenge

The Afghanistan Challenge is a partnership between CARE Canada, MEDA, Rotary International, WUSC and the Government of Canada. Together, these organizations are challenging Canadians who want to personally help to get involved in efforts to rebuild Afghanistan.

I have been working on this website since I began my contract with CIDA in late January 2009. We officially launched the site yesterday morning, with a nice press event at TELUS's headquarters in Ottawa. You can read the press release to learn more.

What I love about this project is the fact that for the first time, the average person can directly help the people of Afghanistan, by directing money to a development project they believe in or towards an organization that they feel will do the most good. Plus the Government of Canada is matching 100% of that donation, so whatever amount you can manage to give, it's like you gave twice as much. Plus for people who are really keen to act, to do more for a situation that often seems hopeless, there are tips and tools to help them start their own fundraisers.

I feel very proud to be part of such an effort. I have met a lot of interesting people through the Afghanistan Challenge: the communications teams of our partners (Care, WUSC, MEDA and Rotary International) plus more of the ATF staff. I am keen to see how the country reacts to this initiative and how their engagement can change the landscape of development, the policies and projects, and how it will get people to think about the way they interact with their government.

Here is the video our team developed to tell people about the Afghanistan Challenge and encourage them to visit the site. I hope you will too - Please feel free to share this post.