The ngo since 1996
Afghanistan Libre was created in 1996 by Chékéba Hachemi in response to the deterioration of women’s rights under the Taliban regime. In France, the first years of the association were devoted to informing and raising awareness about the living conditions of Afghan women under the Taliban regime. In Europe and the United States, Chekéba Hachemi has been leading many actions for Afghanistan: press campaigns, lobbying with companies, personalities and political institutions (working group with Kofi Annan, former Secretary-General of the United Nations; guest of honour at the International Labour Organization, Women’s Day in Geneva and the Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees).
In 2001, in the stronghold of the rebellion against the Taliban in Panjshir province, Chékéba Hachemi met a refugee who did not ask her for food or shelter but asked her to create a school for her children. Marked by this woman and after a meeting with Commander Massoud, she decided to build the first school for girls of Afghanistan Libre: Malalaï High School.
In 2002, Afghanistan Libre created the first women’s magazine made by and for Afghan women: ROZ magazine. The magazine will be fully edited, published and distributed by the association and its beneficiaries for 10 years. Thanks to the support of UNESCO, which carried out an impact study, we were able to establish that the number of readers was 10 times higher than the number of buyers.
In 2003, after meeting a woman who thought she was pregnant when she was in fact menopausal, Chekéba Hachemi decided to take action on basic health education for women and created Health Education Centers for women.
Since then, the association has opened or allowed the reopening of
14 public schools
4 Health and Education Centers for Women
5 preschools (an innovation in Afghanistan where there are no facilities for children under 6 years old)
3 libraries in Panjshir province and Paghman district (Kabul province)
Today, the main goal of Afghanistan Libre is to facilitate access to education, health and vocational training for as many girls and women as possible in Afghanistan to enable them to acquire their independence
- Creation of the NGO “Afghan” which became “Afghanistan Libre” in 2001
- Creation of a women’s cooperative in Panjshir province
- Creation and opening of Malalaï High School, the first girls’ high school in Panjshir province
- Creation and publication of Roz Magazine, the first magazine made by and for Afghan women for more than 10 years
- Integration of sport into Afghan school’s programme under the impetus of Afghanistan Libre. From the beginning, Afghanistan Libre wanted sport to be a subject taught in the supported schools. In partnership with Sport Sans Frontière (now Play International), the association has built or improved sports fields in schools, purchased adapted equipment and trained sport teachers
- Construction of Khoja Lakan High School and rehabilitation of Azrat Osman High School
- Creation of Health and Education Centers
- Opening of the first preschool for the children of female teachers
- Opening of the first psychosocial center recognized by the Afghan Ministry of Labour and training of social workers in rural areas
- Implementation of educational programmes for teacher training and preparation of grade 12th students for the University entrance exam (Kankor)
- Fostering the voice of Afghan women through the “Simplement Afghanes” (Simply Afghan Women) photographic expression project
- Chékéba Hachemi receives the French Republic’s Human Rights Prize
- Afghanistan Libre joins the International Action sector of the GROUPE SOS, chaired by Jean-Marc Borello
- Creation and implementation of the Digital Classes pilot project: a professionalizing digital training for high school girls
- The Digital Classes project is the winner of the “Women and Digital” International Prize of the Fondation La France s’engage
Our field team is 100% Afghan, and has been present in our territories for over 20 years, which allows the association to be strongly rooted in the communities and to benefit from the support of the Shuras, i. e. the village councils, and the local authorities for all its programmes.
To Afghanistan Libre, education, especially for girls, is at the heart of the development of any society and school is the nerve centre of its action. Its approach aims to initiate a virtuous circle of good practices that can then be replicated at the national level. This is why the association has been working since its creation in synergy with local authorities and the Afghan government. All of Afghanistan Libre’s actions are thus based on a realistic vision of development and the projects implemented respond to local demands, strengthen the skills of local actors and propose sustainable actions.
Structured around two main poles of action: an Education pole and a Women’s pole, Afghanistan Libre currently supports nearly 10,000 students in 7 public schools and more than 900 women in 4 Health and Education Centers for Women.