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Thank you for writing! Your work is inspirational and exciting as well - and we'd very much like to collaborate/partner in whatever ways make sense. Please feel free to reach out to me directly to further explore our mutual programs and opportunities for sharing/collaboration: Kimberly Otis <>

Thank you Eunice! This is great guidance. To answer the end user question here, does this help?

#ByHerSide would serve women and girls in Afghanistan who are:

• Survivors of rape and incest
• Pregnant and in need of delivery services, and pre- and post-natal care and infant care, include malnutrition
• Seeking general reproductive health services, resources, check-ups (and as we build trust over time, this would include contraception)
• Prepubescent and pubescent girls in need of health check-ups and education
• In need of general health and hygiene information, resources, and services
• Medical providers serving the end users described above

Here are some stories of the women and girls we have served in the past in this way - and the "end users" we envision would be served through #ByHerSide:


Miriam was little over 3-years old when she was raped. She was referred to Women for Afghan Women after her case received intense media attention. WAW took the child to the French Medical Institute for Children (FMIC, also known as the Mother and Child Hospital) in Kabul, where the hospital was able to stem the post-rape bleeding but refused to do any further treatment. However, WAW persisted and negotiated with FMIC until it agreed to conduct the surgery Miriam required. She was finally admitted and hospitalized for 10 days.

GITA, 30
Gita is a 30-year old client, who was the victim of extreme violence and abuse by her husband and her in-laws. She was 8-months pregnant when her husband, sisters-in-law, and mother-in-law beat her until the point that she miscarried. Even after her full-term miscarriage, her in-laws did not take her to the hospital. She lost over half of her blood before she was finally referred to a hospital in Kunduz. The hospital felt her case required medical attention that they could not provide and asked that she be referred to Kabul for treatment.
Women for Afghan Women was contacted and admitted Gita to a hospital in Kabul. WAW paid for her blood transfusions, but Gita required even more blood transfusions to survive. WAW’s Kabul FGC (Family Guidance Center) staff donated their own blood to make up for the shortfall. She soon recovered and was sent back to live with her parents.

Mina was 9-years old when she was promised to another man by her father, so that he could have another wife. A few months later, her 29-year-old fiancé kidnapped her and began to brutally rape her. The fiancé’s mother tried to protect Mina for as long as she could, but her son continued to rape the poor child for weeks. It got so bad that Mina could no longer sit or walk, was bleeding heavily, and eventually contracted a severe infection.

A local community leader was made aware of Mina’s condition and he took her to the nearest clinic, where her case was referred to Women for Afghan Women.

Mina was in constant, agonizing pain, and required surgery. After six month of medical care, the doctors were still worried she was too weak for surgery and would die under anesthesia due to the frailty of her condition. Mina was moved to Kabul where medical facilities could better deal with her condition. She finally underwent the surgery she required and is now recovering in one of WAW’s Women’s Shelters, Mina is doing much better and is healthy, but she will have to undergo further surgery when she is older.


16-year old Marzia was repeatedly raped by her own father. Her father tried to cover up his crime, however, eventually, he impregnated her. When Marzia went into premature labor, her mother rushed her to the hospital. When the doctors realized the young girl had no husband, they suspected she was the victim of incest, and called the police immediately.

The police referred her case to Women for Afghan Women, which took care of Marzia’s medical care. After her recovery, Marzia was placed in one of WAW’s Women’s Shelters, where she now attends literacy classes for the first time in her life. Her father has been arrested and sentenced for his crime. Today, Marzia is not only safe, but also happy, and eagerly learning how to read and write with the dream of one day obtaining a university degree.

All names, locations, and other identifying factors have been changed and/or deleted in order to protect the identity, privacy, safety, and lives of Women for Afghan Women’s clients and/or their family members.

Dear OpenIDEO team,

We deeply appreciate this guidance and feedback. We are taking it into deep consideration as we work in the refinement stage. We'd like to answer a couple of questions right here, as they are not addressed in the questions for the idea entry.

We are very much thinking about scale and sustainability. We believe #ByHerSide can be a galvanizing campaign for our supporters - and all the development work we are doing around building momentum and a larger base of support for WAW's critical work. The team is very excited about it. We intend to raise funds directly from our donor base around the campaign, and reach out to corporate and foundation supporters to raise additional funds for the program. It is a health program, so it actually opens up the door to funders we have not sought support from in the past - such as health foundations and health products and industry corporations. Our team has structured our annual end-of-the-year appeal around #ByHerSide, and to begin the work around a campaign for the program, we already registered the #ByHerSide hash tag.

We can motivate and galvanize volunteers around this campaign - which would energize current volunteers and attract new ones. There is plenty of opportunity behind it as well - opportunities to secure in-kind products and support. Opportunities for coordinated employee opportunities - designing #ByHerSide kits and health materials, and actually putting them together. There is opportunity to involve college campuses - to raise awareness and visibility about GBV and Afghanistan, and #ByHerSide.

In 2016 and 2017, WAW received support from five major U.S. institutional funders, including Carnegie Corporation of New York, Ford Foundation, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, The MacArthur Foundation, and the David and Lucile Packard Foundation. These institutions believe in the impact of WAW and its potential to do even more to protect and serve women and children in Afghanistan, as well as help to invoke cultural change. Part of their commitment to WAW is to help the organization leverage their support to bring in additional, new major support. A highly visible and engaging campaign such as #ByHerSide would only strengthen our collective efforts to rally international support for the betterment of Afghanistan women and girls. We will ask our institutional partners to help catapult this effort forward in whatever way they can.

Additionally, WAW will seek the expert knowledge and access of our local, high-level partners in Afghanistan and the U.S. to develop additional new partnerships that will support the success of this new program. WAW works closely with the Afghan government and the United States State Department, the Afghan Ministry of Women’s Affairs, and the Office of Afghanistan’s First Lady. Other partners include the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission, United Nations Women, the United Nations Refugee Agency, and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency. WAW is also a proud member of the US-Afghan Women’s Council, the Alliance in Support of the Afghan People, the Afghan Shelter Network, and the Afghan Women’s Network. We will leverage these relationships to establish additional partnerships that can help WAW improve Afghanistan's emergency response to GBV and health access overall.

We are positioned very well to scale this program, as support for it is secured. We have access to thousands of women, children and families every year. With funding, we can very feasibly conduct our #ByHerSide intensive emergency response services, and build in mobile clinics to that response. We can also enhance our existing community outreach and education work to include a curriculum around reproductive health. New partnerships will need to be forged to deliver #ByHerSide kits on a large scale - and that would be our growth focus. It is one of the more exciting elements of the idea - to be able to galvanize community, international, corporate support around meeting the needs of women, girls, families, and health providers in Afghanistan, and doing so through very tangible information and resources - it is exciting, ambitious, and feasible.

As for our end users - would you look through the images provided at the top of this entry? We included client stories in that section as images as a way for us to further share about our end users. Take a look at those stories and let us know if they give you a sense of how #ByHerSide would work - and how WAW helps women and children around GBV.

Thank you very much for this wonderful opportunity and forum. We look forward to more conversation and questions!