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Cooking, conversation and community: fundraiser to support women and children in Afghanistan

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Event description

The world has watched in horror as the Taliban seized Afghanistan earlier this month, leaving families and communities throughout the country devastated and displaced, facing an uncertain future under the regime. For Afghan women and girls, there are fears that the Taliban’s previous track record of heavily restricting access to education, employment, mobility and basic rights is fast becoming today’s reality. 

Despite being thousands of miles away, we have an opportunity to act locally to stand in solidarity and support for Afghan communities wherever they may be, at a time when they need it most. 

As a start, the Collingwood CWA, in partnership with the Afghan Gallery Restaurant, is hosting an online event to show our support and raise money for women and children on the ground in Afghanistan - and we would love you to attend!

Join us from 4pm to 5pm on Sunday 12 September to share conversation, cooking and connection with members of the Afghan community in Victoria and beyond to raise money for the Afghan Australian Development Organisation (AADO). 

The AADO is dedicated to providing education and training opportunities in Afghanistan, such as literacy and livelihood programs for village women and girls, science teacher education programs and more, through local teams that have deep community networks. Since the Taliban took hold, the AADO has funded initial urgent basic relief for displaced children in camps, including water, food, milk powder and hygiene products.

You’re invited to pay as you wish for attending the event, starting from $15. It feature a cooking demonstration of a delicious local Afghan dish with a rich conversation about the current situation in Afghanistan by: 

  • Dr Nouria Salehi AM: Nouria is the founder of AADO - and the Afghan Gallery Restaurant, with her brother Aziz - and has dedicated her life to support Afghani women and girls and refugees. Nouria is also a highly respected nuclear physicist and biophysicist, retiring in 2018 after almost 40 years with the Royal Melbourne Hospital. She became a Member of the Order of Australia in 2019.
  • Homaira Mershedi: Homaira is a Peace Ambassador, and has had an impressive global career in international development dedicated to supporting refugees and people from displaced communities. She has worked for the UN’s International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) as Community Liaison Officer, Interpreter and Translator for 11 years. She currently runs the Afghan Gallery Restaurant as manager, solely to be able to fully support Afghan people in Afghanistan. 
  • Dr Paula Hanasz: Paula is our MC for the event. She is a policy-maker and social scientist working on water security, climate change, and environmental peacebuilding. She spent more than two years working with NATO in Afghanistan. Inspired by the power, resilience, courage, and good humour of Afghan women, Paula resolved to actively pursue positive change in the world through women-led initiatives, such as the CWA.

All money raised from the event, excluding a minimal amount for production, will go directly to the Afghan Australian Develpment Organisation. 


This event is brought to you by the Collingwood branch of the Country Women’s Association of Australia. We are a member-run charity, providing connection, craft and community for women from all walks of life. We raise money and advocate for causes we care about, including social justice, sustainable development and the protection of the environment. We aim to improve conditions by community service, especially as they affect the welfare of women and children. Find out more and join us: 

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