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Solace for the Children

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: International, International Relief

Mission: Building peace on a foundation of health! Solace for the Children is building peace on a foundation of health by establishing international partnerships providing medical care, education and leadership development for the children of war-torn countries. Currently we direct our services to the children of Afghanistan.

Results: While we can point to great results for Solace programs through data as seen below, keep reading below to learn about the real impact of Solace... • Solace currently serves children in 25 of the 34 Afghan provinces with a goal of serving children in 100% of Afghanistan’s provinces. • In 2012, Solace was certified as an official Afghan Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) • About 150 Afghan children have received medical treatment as participates in Solace medical programs with at least 150 more children receiving support through in country treatment, over-the-counter medical bags packed by volunteers and distributed by returning children, and receiving educational support. Personal impact results: Zaman Rashid, Solace Summer Program 2007 - Today I am alive because of Solace for the Children. By offering me my health and an education I could never get, Solace has broken the thick walls of illness, hopelessness, faithlessness, and other disasters that were surrounding me. Solace has made my life absolutely beautiful and peaceful. For these reasons, I truly would like to thank, Solace and its supporters. Zaman arrived with the first group of children from Afghanistan. Solace was the last hope of his family for their son to live to adulthood. In a Solace Community, volunteer surgeons removed a tumor that gave Zaman back his health and his family’s hope. From that time to this, Zaman has dedicated his life to working toward bringing peace and prosperity to his beloved Afghanistan. He finished his high school education in AFG, and accepted the first Solace Scholarship to a community college in the US in 2011. Zaman is an honor student in college and for 2012-2013 serves as the President of his school’s Phi Theta Kappa Chapter. Zaman tells us that his goal now is to complete his education with a degree in international business and return to Afghanistan to establish group homes for hopeless Afghan children. Mabobah, Solace Summer Program 2009 - I was so happy with my host family they wear very well. Sometime my family and friends ask me, did you like American? To I said no! I like American people. American people are very kind and good people I live them. Solace for the Children can help with us very good, and the Afghanistan people need to help. Mabobah arrived in June 2009 with multiple orthopedic problems caused by untreated polio from her infancy and undiagnosed skin problems. While Mabobah will always need to walk with the aid of crutches, her skin problem was not so serious. Physical therapy and braces gave her body far more function. Typical ointment and intense laser treatments took care of her skin problems. Her six weeks within a Solace Community made it clear to us that Mabobah had another very large obstacle in her life – lack of education. With her health elevated and the blessings of family, Solace began to look for ways to begin and support Mabobah’s education. A school for girls was in her area; however, walking for a girl on two crutches was not a possibility. We tried to provide transportation, yet that was unreliable and left her still with a path to travel to get to the road that was extremely difficult and dangerous. Soon we found a teacher who would come to Mabobah’s home and with the aid of a computer and various electronic classes, not only Mabobah began to learn, but her siblings, too! While I was in Kabul in December 2011, Mabobah, her father and one brother traveled into the city to visit with me. Very proudly she spoke with me in the English she is learning as she studies math and other subjects. The note you see above is taken from a letter she wrote to me several weeks ago. Abed Arian, Solace Extended Program Interpreter 2010 and 2011/2012 – Solace for the Children has changed lives of many people, including my brother and my family. The way we look at America is completely different. Our friendship with Americans can and will change the public view about how Americans can work within Afghanistan. My family has been involved with Solace and believes it is a program that opens doors for those who are suffering from war. Solace shows us that together we can overcome the problems by building peace on a foundation of health. Abed’s introduction into the Solace Extended Program was as an interpreter for his young brother who was suffering from uncontrolled seizures. At age 18, Abed bravely escorted his little brother to a Solace Community where he worked with medical specialists and physical and language therapists to identify the cause of the seizures and regulate medication to control them. When Abed’s brother arrived he could not dress himself, feed himself or speak in a way that could be understood. When they returned to their family about 5 months later, Abed’s little brother could do each of these successfully. Abed returned with instructions for his family concerning simple ways to continue to help their young son be all he could be. In 2011, Abed returned with another boy in need of life-saving urological surgery. His service to Solace comes from the heart in gratitude for the immense impact the volunteers of this organization have had on his entire family.

Target demographics: Innocent children of war ages 7 to 12

Direct beneficiaries per year: In these early years of service, we have grown significantly in the number of children who directly benefited from the efforts of Solace for the Children. Beginning in 2007 with seven children treated. By the end of 2012, Solace will have served more than 300 Afghan children through medical services both in the U.S and in AFG as well as by providing educational support.

Geographic areas served: Any province of Afghanistan

Programs: • Summer Program - Acting on the belief that a mutual understanding and shared acts of genuine compassion are the foundation for true and lasting peace, Solace brings Afghan children to live with American host families for six weeks during the summer months while they are treated for medical conditions unavailable to them in Afghanistan. As of the 2011 Summer Program, Solace Communities in 3 states have treated almost 150 Afghan children from 73% of Afghan provinces. • Solace Extended Program – Recognizing the tremendous need for medical support of the Afghan children, Solace provides treatment for children whose conditions are too complex or urgent for placement in the Summer Program. Examples: a 4 year old with bone infection complications of a club foot, 6 open heart surgeries, a boy with shrapnel embedded in his eye from a rocket attack, prosthetics to reclaim limbs lost in IED blasts, repair of bladder extrophy, and so much more. Solace is thankful for the medical communities across the country who partner with Solace in this work. • Solace Learn – We continue to follow Solace children when they return to Afghanistan. Returning healthy to Afghanistan, many of the children have the first opportunity to attend school. Solace provides basic support to make this possible. As children exhaust educational opportunities available in Afghanistan, Solace supports their efforts to continue an education outside the country. • Solace Leadership Program – New in 2012, the Leadership Program is designed to provide training and opportunity for positive and productive leadership for the purpose of creating a more peaceful world. Qualifying students will spend three years learning and practicing leadership skills through classroom training, working with mentors, and through practice experience with developing and carrying out “Peace Projects” in their own Afghan communities.

Community Stories

24 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Donor

Rating: 5

Solace for the Children is a quality organization from top to bottom. They facilitated the rescue of a child I cared for in Afghanistan during my military tour that would almost certainly have perished. Their efforts have changed lives in so many wonderful ways. For each donor they provide significant feedback and wonderful updates on the cases they select for receipt of donation if they are directed. Cannot say enough about their work.

Zubaida T.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am Zubaida Tahiri from Afghanistan. I have heard a lot about the activities of SOLACE and always see the posts that is shared in social media. I appreciate their support for kids in Afghanistan.

1 Najia

Volunteer

Rating: 5

• Hello Everyone!!!
My decision to volunteer at the Solace for the Children is the most wonderful experience I’ve ever met with in my life. I have chosen Solace for volunteering because I believe that helping the children would be a great opportunity that can give people the capability to think broad about feelings of those people who suffer from illnesses or some serious sicknesses. This experience has been wonderful. I think that people who have the ability to help should help. Thinking about these kids conditions and sometimes they made me feel that I even forgot that they were sick with all the funny things they do every day.
Volunteering at the Solace means the world to me. Honestly I was really happy working at Solace; my duty was to fill the forms of applicants. These kids need all the help they can get. So by writing this experience, I would encourage you all to try to start volunteering at Solace. It will change you in so many ways. This was an amazing experience! And a big thank to the entire team of Solace!!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

In Aug 2012, I started to be a volunteer for solace for the children. My main responsibility was to work with children and help them with physical therapy in Afghanistan office. However, it wasn’t the only thing that I was doing. I also helped to fill application for new patients. Actually, this was one of my favorite parts, because I would see the patients, talk to them and see their families. The hope inside parent’s heart was incredible. The innocent smile on children’s face was pure. I learned how to be hopeful, respect, love, and help people.
In 2013, I got the chance to travel to the USA and bring some of those children with me. I stayed with them in hospital, talked to them, and was the one they could trust. My experience in Solace is one of my favorite chapters of my life. Every single step that I took for those children, reflected in my life. Those children, families, and love inspired me.

Zahra

anniebeth

Volunteer

Rating: 5

We are a current host family that has been hosting a child for 5 months. Typically children only stay a few weeks in the summer, but a few children, like our host daughter, come for extended care. Our family has 4 children, and one of my daughters uses a wheelchair. My daughter plays wheelchair basketball, which is how we met our host daughter the first time she came to America through Solace. When we found out she was coming back, we applied to be her new host family. Over the past 5 months we have learned so much from each other! My children's world has been broadened. Besides just learning about and connecting with another culture, they have developed a genuine sibling relationship with our host daughter. Instead of having an awkward "visitor" experience, the kids integrated her right in- which was probably a good thing, since sometimes children with disabilities get treated differently, whether it is in a good or bad way, by other people. Our host daughter has been encouraged by having a "sibling" with a disability, and they have been able to do lots of things together. My other kids are used to living with someone in a wheelchair, so they automatically adapt what they are doing to modify activities. Our house is completely accessible, so she has been able to work on daily life skills, and problem solve for how to adapt to her environment when she gets home. My kids have learned a little Farsi, and you can often hear them singing to a CD of songs in Farsi that we found for our host daughter. I homeschool, so despite the fact that the children on medical visas aren't able to attend school, we have all been able to work together on schoolwork anyway. I truly believe that people have to know how much you care before they care how much you know. If we are trying to help children and their families learn how to care for and manage their health conditions, they have to understand that we care about *them* more than we care about the strict imparting of knowledge. You can see this in the families that host, and also in the volunteer staff at Solace. To accomplish as much as they do, it is amazing what percentage of the work is done on a solely volunteer basis. If you donate to Solace, you know your money is not padding the pockets of a big CEO, it is really being used to help children.

1 Aßila A.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Hello Everyone! I am Assila Afsharzada a former volunteer at Solace in Kabul, Afghanistan. Working with such an organization was a privilege for me. I experienced life-changing events with Solace Children. Seeing all those kids’ smiles and happiness made my days. All of them were a blessing for me. I hope anyone who is able to help this organization in any way do her/his best to give a hand. Those innocent children, who are born disabled or get injured during bombings, must not suffer from an illness that is curable. I believe these kids’ health and education are essential for a better Afghanistan.

1 Rashad M.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Working as a volunteer at Solace was an opportunity in a difficult time. I was experiencing severe anxiety at the time, which I thought was the worst condition a person might face. Working at solace was the best treatment I could get.
Within few first days working at Kabul office we received the children who were returning from the summer program. Seeing them, I could never imagine they had any problems before. Even their families were stunned. I eventually learned that some of those children had suffered from severe health problems. I would never guess how bad their situations were while talking to them. Their hearts were full of hope and joy and they were passionate to share it.
Spending one year I realized how Solace changes the lives of such children and brings back joy to their families. Working at Solace made me confident to help and taught me to enjoy it. I believe many others who have been involved at solace feel the same and the collection of this feeling is strong enough to change the world.

Ali Reza A.

Volunteer

Rating: 3

Hello,
This is Alireza Waheedi. I am really blessed being part of Solace. In 2013, I began working with Solace as a volunteer. Shortly after, I had the opportunity to work as Administration and Finance Officer. Thereby, I got more involved with the incredible job Solace was doing for the needy children and their families. I was witness of the transformation of fearful and desperate eyes into hopeful and grateful eyes. It was very difficult for me to see parents, whom their beloved ones were suffering from hard diseases and they were unable to do something for them, either because of poverty or lack of medical equipments. I have heard many of these families, telling me their only hope is Solace with God’s grace. Although I live in Germany now I love to continue my contribution with Solace. Anyone who reads this, be aware that Solace incredible work is needed in Afghanistan, both in the area of education and health and of course their contribution to peace building. Solace brings hopes and change lives.
Thanks

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering with Solace for the Children for over 15 years. The experience brings me so much joy and a sense of gratitude in my life. Because I photograph these children, sometimes more than once, I see the remarkable effects of health and love provided to them! Bridges are built between tribes, between girls and boys, never to be forgotten memories are created, giving these children hope for their future and the future of their country.

Shab N.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Hello Everyone!! My experience at the Solace for the children, I really enjoyed volunteering at this organization. I started working here since January 2014. My duty as a volunteer was to teach children. The children were always very happy and motivated to learn new things. They are really happy when some volunteers are around, they really enjoyed their presence.
Amazing volunteering experience at Solace! My time at the Peace House was rewarding one. It allowed me to integrate into the culture of helping rather than to be a spectator. Children were great! There are absolute bundles of joy and energy. My day to day routine consisted getting the children ready for learning computer skills. Thank you to entire Solace volunteering team and other related people for their kindness and great hospitality. This was a great experience. I would certainly recommend people to join Solace for affordable volunteering program in Afghanistan for life changing experiments.

Fardin P.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Hello Everyone!

This is Fardin Pouya, a former Volunteer and Peace Ambassador in Solace for the Children in Kabul in 2013. In my review, I would like to quote an old email that I had sent to my fellow Volunteers on 18/06.2013. I believe that children are not the only direct beneficiaries of the program; likewise, the program offers life changing experiences for those who take part in assisting the great mission of Solace for the children.

Dear All:

Let me express myself through a couple of words and share my true feelings as a member of the great family of Solace. For me, Solace has been the beginning of a new journey to the world of my within and to the land of children who are the wealthiest of all! They donate you with beautiful smiles and remind you that this life is a good opportunity to go beyond yourself and see the others next to you.
Nowadays, I am experiencing the best moments of my life among committed Peace Ambassadors and children whose daily growth inspires me to put more efforts to help them.
The Solace family rewards everyone with something valuable. Children recover and gain health while a Peace Ambassador like me finds his mission in life.
Thanks to everyone who has given a hand in building this great family.

Best,


1 MaliHa M.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My name is Maliha, And I volunteered at Solace for the Children in Afghanistan for about a year. This was a wonderful experience for me that changed my view to the world, from that time I believed in kindness. I learned from Solace that we are responsible to help other people who needs our help. I could see how Solace could bring big changes in some children's life and I felt happy and enjoyed each second that I was working there, because taking part to give meaning to those innocent children's lives, gave also meaning to my own life. I wish I could help them more, but now I am not in Afghanistan, yet I would certainly do whatever possible to those children at the Peace House.
Solace can never be forgotten from my heart because it gives new lives to war victim and seriously ill children. I wish Solace For the Children improves much more and take those hands which are waiting for help all over the world. Lets hope that maybe what solace do brings more peace and kindness to all hearts and we have a peaceful future all over the world.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 2

"I talk three languages and I am good in sciences, I want to be a doctor in the future and help my family and people." One of the very bright kids said that to me in very early moment that I just met him. Ashraf was from south part of the country-Khost province- where he was not able to go to school. He had a great sense of learning and so open with smiley face. His sentence stroked me in head and I thought "I can only speak two languages, not much comfortable with science, and still not sure what my destiny is." By providing the opportunity for education to bright kids like Ashraf, Solace for the children creates hope and invest a great asset like Ashraf in the future for his family as well as for the country. I applaud all efforts of every individual who allocates his time to pave the way for these bright children. Solace for the children builds peace by the peace house, providing opportunities to learn, education materials, and is the source of health foundation by taking children diagnosed with illness to U.S. for cure. All the effort are paying off when children come with happiness from U.S., when kids in peace house can go to school, and when every volunteer like me thinks that they are doing something to their country. May my God grant them tireless ability to continue their wonderful work.
Peace
Jalal Jamshidy

John292

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This was our second year as a host family in Mooresville, NC and what a wonderful experience it was. The impact this little girl made on our lives, and the love that she gave to all of us in return was a life changing experience, especially for our 12 year old daughter who now has gained a sister that lives in Afghanistan. These precious children are so grateful and helping them to heal and sharing life with them is beyond comparison.
God Bless Solace for the Children for all that they do~ Amazing!
John Steelhammer

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

To whom it may concern,
My name is Waheed and I used to be a volunteer in Solace for more than a year. I believe the most precious gift before everything is life itslef and I can confidently say lives are revived and changed in the most positive way in Solace for the Children. I experienced in several ocassions that beautifully spirited kids who were affected by war in one way or another would regain and recover from the worst possible health conditions which is the most humane outcome imaginable. I really appreciate the efforts made by the ones behind this organization and that these efforts are 'indeed' life.changing.

Sorry for spell and gramatical errors since I wrote the above post by my phone.

Love
Waheed

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

In early 2013, I started volunteering for this wonderful community in Afghanistan, aiming to be an assistant in building peace in a foundation of health. I started with teaching music, specifically violin, to the Peace House's students. In the meanwhile, I have been helping Solace through working as volunteer coordinator scheduling volunteers for office tasks as well as peace house courses. Solace has been such a great and honorable experience of my life and I really appreciate the work that they do and the achievements that they have had since their startup in Afghanistan. They really are a source of practical and visible service for Afghan children, and building trust and peace among the people and I, in my turn, appreciate the job of people who have initiated this great house of care for Afghan Children. Also, thanks to all those people who are behind this cause.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am working as a volunteer for Solace for the Children since 2011, my first trip was to Jacksonville FL, USA, that we brought 15 ill children for medical treatment. Now I am preforming my duties as an Interpreter/Solace Ambassador for peace in Los Angeles, California. First of all I would like appreciate Solace for its humanitarian supports and thank all American families who are involved with Solace team. The children who have been cured by Solace efforts would not ever forget Solace’s profuse and extra ordinary ministration and services, and Solace is being the cleverest way to reach the bridge of Peace and happiness between Afghans and Americans. I believe that there are thousands of American families that feel fortunate and pleased to support Solace with its wonderful objective. We all will defiantly try our best to help those who are in need and wait for its virtual compensation and reward from God.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My wife and i hosted a young girl named Hila in 2010. The experience was wonderful and she continues to inspire me with her strength, hope and desire for peace. Solace For The Children is an incredible organization building Peace on a Foundation of Health for the children of Afghanistan. A non-profit that provided over $2 million in services with a mere budget of 200,000. Where else can your donation be so impactful? Please join me in supporting an organization that is focused on grass roots efforts for healing wounds and changing hearts.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was a volunteer interpreter for Solace from 2011-2012 in Jacksonville FL. The impact that Solace has in life of the Afghans and the Americans are great. My family get to know about Solace from a US. Air Force adviser that worked with my father who is in the Afghan National Air Defense. I started to comprehend about Solace's mission (Building Peace on Foundation of Health) more, as I get to know people from America. There are people in Afghanistan that don't like the Americans, and it's the same thing in United State, But my point is that Solace is trying to build peace between these two culture based on true love, care, health and this really motivates me be a better person in my own life and life of many others. I think Solace should be supported by the people of United State, or in another word, More communities and other world organizations should support Solace's mission to make this one the few non-profit organizations that is making world a better place to live. I learned this from Solace: "No matter what color we are, what we believe, or where we are from, we can just simply use Love as a tool to build peace and hope."

2 Becky L.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My family is blessed to have the opportunity to host Solace extended child. Making the decision to host on a long-term basis was not easy. We have 5 children of our own and life is busy. A lot of time and prayer went into the decision. We had many concerns. How would we communicate? Would she go to an American school? Would she like us? Would we like her? The Solace community guided us through all of our questions and waited patiently for our “yes”. We knew that in the end we would be helping to save this young girls life. Little did we know that she would be the one to change our lives.

Our host daughter contracted polio as a baby and was never treated. As a result she came to us with severe scoliosis. She has been through several surgeries including one that lasted 10 hours and involved 3 surgeons. Before her surgery she was in bed 80% of the time due to extreme pain. Thanks to Solace she now has a chance at a normal life. The medical care that this child needed is simply not available in Afghanistan. She would have surely died a slow and painful death.

As an Afghan girl she was never afforded the opportunity to receive an education. This is a gift that she does not take it lightly. She has worked hard and caught up & even passed many children in our American school. I was so concerned about the influence that she would have on my own children. I was correct. This young lady has definitely influenced my kids. They now understand so much more than they did before. They understand how blessed they are to have the opportunity to go to school, to always have food on the table, to be able to walk down the street and not have to worry about a bomb killing them or a member of their family. They understand the blessings of basic medical care and what can happen when you don’t receive it. They also understand the meaning of love and family.

This child was not born to us but she will forever be a part of our family. The day will come when she will return to her homeland and while it will be sad for us I know that she will return stronger, healthier and educated. She wants to make a difference to the women & children in Afghanistan and thanks to Solace she will be strong enough to do just that.

When we began this process we just wanted to make a difference in one child’s life and in the end she has changed each of us for the better.

I can’t begin to say how much we all love the Solace for the Children community. We consider them all part of our family and are so very grateful to them for changing our lives. I feel certain that because of Solace for the Children our host daughter will have a wonderful and positive impact on many other lives in the future. I would encourage everyone to somehow get involved in this organization and watch how it changes your lives forever. Solace is a true example of “In giving that we receive”.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am hosting an interpreter in Jacksonville, Fl. Abed Arian has been a blessing to me. He has a great ability to see people as they are inside and he is not influenced by money or good looks. I am involved in Solace because of my daughter and son-in-law, Sara and Bryan Coker. But then I developed a passion for Solace because of the tireless work of the volunteers, host families who provided homes, and the Doctors who provided care and treatment.