Afghanistan - Organizations

Organizations to advance public aims and goals are of recent origin and most are sponsored and directed by the government. The National Fatherland Front, consisting of tribal and political groups that support the government, was founded in June 1981 to bolster the PDPA regime and to promote full and equal participation of Afghan nationals in state affairs.

The Women's Welfare Society carries on educational enterprises, provides training in handicrafts, and dispenses charitable aid, while the Maristun, a social service center, looks after children, men, and women and teaches them crafts and trades. The Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan (RAWA), established in Kabul, Afghanistan, in 1977, is an independent political organization of Afghan women focusing on human rights and social justice.

With political changes in the country throughout the past decade, a number of new women's groups have developed. These include the Afghan Women Social and Cultural Organization (AWSCO, est. 1994), the Afghan Women's Educational Center (AWEC, est. 1991), the Afghan Women's Network (AWN, est. 1995), the Educational Training Center for Poor Women and Girls of Afghanistan (ECW, est. 1997), the New Afghanistan Women Association (est. 2002 as a merger of the Afghan Women Journalist Association and the Afghan Feminine Association), and the World Organization for Mutual Afghan Network (WOMAN, est. 2002).

The Union of Afghanistan Youth is a national non-government organization representing the concerns of the nation's youth and young adults in the midst of transition and reconstruction. The organization serves as a multi-party offshoot of the Democratic Youth Organization of Afghanistan (DYOA), which has worked closely with the People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan. Though the Scouting Movement of Afghanistan was disbanded in 1978, the World Organization of the Scout Movement (WOSM) began conducting seminars in July 2003 to encourage and support the rebirth of scouting programs.

The Red Crescent, the equivalent of the Red Cross, is active in every province, with a national chapter of Red Crescent Youth also active. An institute called the Pashto Tolanah promotes knowledge of Pashto literature and the Historical Society (Anjuman-i-Tarikh) amasses information on Afghan history. The Afghan Carpet Exporters' Guild, founded in 1987, promotes foreign trade of Afghan carpets and works for the improvement of the carpet industry.

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