WIHS 2014 FEATURED PROJECT: Afghanistan “BEACON” Project


Our experience shows us that, when equipped with the proper resources, women have the power to help whole families and entire communities escape poverty.

Sunday March 9th will be the 4th consecutive relay run for the Vancouver Walk In Her Shoes 103km Relay Run campaign and in anticipation I will be featuring stories of the projects, communities and countries we will be supporting. The BEACON project is one of many amazing projects being supported by the Walk In Her Shoes Campaign.


The BEACON Project
Start Date: 2012
End Date: 2015
Total impact: 25,000 students (approximately 60 per cent female) and 800 teachers (40 per cent female)

Afghanistan is one of the most challenging places in the world to be if you are a woman. More women die in pregnancy and childbirth than almost anywhere else in the world.

CARE first established its mission in Afghanistan in 1961, but suspended activities after the Russian invasion of 1979. Resuming activities in 1989 from a new base in Peshawar, Pakistan, CARE delivered assistance to Afghanistan from across the border until 2002 when it shifted its main office back to Kabul.

Fast Facts:

  • 1 in 50 women will die during pregnancy or childbirth—one every 2 hours.
  • 9 out 10 women are illiterate and the rate of domestic abuse is one of the highest in the world.
  • The average life expectancy of a woman is 44, one of the lowest in the world.
  • More than 77 per cent of the Afghan population lives in rural remote areas and 45 per cent of the population is under 15 years old.
  • Afghanistan is ranked 175 out of the 186 countries listed in the 2012 Human Development Index, a tool that ranks countries based on life expectancy, education and population income.

When You Educate a Girl, You Educate a Community:

Only 40% of Afghan girls attend elementary school, and only 1 in 20 girls attend school beyond the sixth grade. There are approximately three times more boys attending school than girls. Many Afghan families will only permit their daughters to attend all-girls schools close to home and few such schools exist. Other families believe it is unnecessary for girls to be educated.

CARE Canada is working to empower women and girls in the rural communities of Afghanistan. This means providing them with better access to quality education and removing the barriers that prevent many young girls from attending school. By offering classrooms closer to home and providing training and support to trusted members of communities to become teachers, CARE aims to improve gender equality in community-based classrooms across Afghanistan.



This leg starts at Spanish banks for a 3km run to Wreck Beach, where the relay team will perform a carry station relay. Much like women in- developing countries who need to walk an average of 6km per day for basic water, food or life necessities, this team will be tasked to perform 4km of food, water and firewood carry’s up 475 stairs – repeated as a team. This should take around…. 25 repeats of the stairs with the 3km run there and back for a total of 10km!

The Basic Education for Afghanistan Consortium’s (BEACON) ultimate goal is to ensure that children and youth have the knowledge and skills to be productive members of Afghan society. The project will focus on increasing the accessibility of community-based education in rural areas, while building the sustainability of programs through community and government support.

Although enrollment in grades 1 through 12 has increased to more than 7.3 million students in 2011, approximately five million school-aged children are still thought to be out of school and 1.2 million, though registered, are permanently absent. Despite an increase in enrollment, girls still only make up 39 per cent of the primary school population.


  • Achieve a noticeable benefit for 25,000 students, including children (at least 60 per cent girls), youth  and women in remote rural areas with greater access to education,      resources and supportive learning environments.
  • Provide 800 teachers (at least 40 per cent women) with effective teaching methods and resources.
  • Increase the capacity for the Ministry of Education to support community-based education on a long-term sustainable basis.
  • Engage the community in educational activities in partnership with the Ministry of Education and other stakeholders.

CARE Afghanistan Video: http://youtu.be/jQjh_nl2tQg

CARE Afghanistan Info: http://www.care.org/country/afghanistan

Project Details at CARE Canada: http://care.ca/our-work/what-we-do/economic-development/beacon

How Can You Help?

  • Join this team and support a great cause AND get healthy
  • Support this project and donate; every $1 the Canadian Government will donate $3
  • Share this post and help spread our message on facebook and twitter ( @SarahMJamieson)

To Join: Walk In Her Shoes 103km Relay Run Leg 5: “Team Fierce RUN4ACAUSE + WIHS” https://secure3.convio.net/careca/site/TRR/297181345

To Support this project: http://careca.convio.net/site/TR/Events/General/297181345?pg=team&fr_id=1110&team_id=2360


I am what you would call a freelance do’gooder of all things bucketlist and philanthropically inclined. (a) Movement & Performance Coach (a) Social Crusader (a) Wannabe Superhero (a) Athlete (a) Advocate for Play (a) Compassion Junkie (a) Womens and Youth Activist (a) runner'of a' muck (a) Chief Fascia Facilitator (Yoga Teacher and MyoFascia Enthusiast) So, here it is, my BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal) TO RAISE $1 MILLION DOLLARS before the age of 35! This is no small 'feet' to take on... A 10 year passion project; by which I harness the power behind the sports philanthropy movement by using my own middle of the pack talent - RUNNING! I am the founder of RUN4ACAUSE, and my goal is simple ~ to combine advocacy with sport and the foundation is to bring awareness to the power behind education, the power of our youth and women's economic empowerment worldwide! This blog is an ongoing Story Telling Series of my RUN4ACAUSE, where I aim to showcase the direct impact WE can make by empowering our youth to transform their world; by mobilizing them to engage in cultural exchange, gain a global perspective, and create and lead social change through the art of sport, and by the power of one voice. Imagine the possibilities! I hope this blog leaves you empowered, inspired and MOVED - so why don't you join me and RUN4ACAUSE!
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