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  • Special Kids Section for New School Year in Afghanistan

    News: Speeches and Releases

  • President, First Lady Announce Partnership to Help Afghan Children Prepare for School
  • Mrs. Bush's Remarks at Afghan Girls Back-to-School Project
  • President Sends Off Relief Supplies for Afghan Children
  • America's Youth Respond to Afghan Children's Fund
  • America's Fund for Afghan Children Fact Sheet
  • America's Fund for Afghan Children
  • President Announces "America's Fund for Afghan Children"

    Links: Related Links and Information

  • President Launches USA Freedom Corps

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  • Celebrating A New School Year for the Children of Afghanistan

    At Samuel W. Tucker School in Alexandria, Virginia, the President and First Lady highlighted important U.S. contributions to the women and children of Afghanistan as they prepare for the first day of school.

    The First Lady also announced a new global partnership of government agencies, private organizations, individuals and corporations to help provide school uniforms and jobs to the women and girls of Afghanistan.

    President Bush's Kids Connection  
    Visit the Special Kids page for
    more on the First Day of School.

    School Uniforms for Afghan Girls & Jobs for Afghan Women

    March 23 marks the beginning of the new school term for Afghan students. Schools, however humble and damaged, will open once again to girls and boys.

    Afghan girls, in particular, are in need of school uniforms, shoes and socks so that their families will be willing and able to send them to join their classmates.

    The Vital Voices Global Partnership has worked with the First Lady to organize the Afghan girls back-to-school uniform project at the request of Sima Samar -- the Afghan Minister for Women’s Affairs. Sima Samar has asked Vital Voices for help in getting uniforms, shoes and socks for 150,000 Afghan school girls.

    The project will supply the girls with school clothes and strengthen Afghan women by providing much needed jobs and training to Afghan seamstresses.

    Vital Voices has solicited the support of corporations and individuals who have agreed to provide fabric, sewing machines, shoes and socks, and other aid to enable the Afghan women to get back to work and the girls back to school.

    Many of the partners in this endeavor are companies in other parts of the world – making this a truly global effort. For example, Liz Claiborne reached out to its vendor partners around the world and is donating more than 500,000 yards of fabric to the project. Examples of other confirmed donors include:

    • J.R. United donating through its partners in Pakistan 200 sewing machines and at least 50,000 yards of fabric.
    • Springs Industries in Fort Mill, SC, is donating 12,000 yards of fabric.
    • LL Bean, Inc. in Freeport, ME, will support 10,000 pairs of shoes, jackets and blankets.
    • Bass is donating 400 pairs of shoes.
    • Sebago, Inc. of Westbrook, ME, is donating 500 pairs of shoes.
    • New Balance Athletic Shoe, Inc. of Boston, MA, is donating 28,500 pairs of shoes valued at $988,000.
    • General Motors is donating $20,000 to cover needed supplies.
    • Robert Stein and Ellen Perry are donating $10,000 to cover needed supplies.
    • Sara Lee Corporation is donating socks.
    • Wal Mart is donating $25,000 to the project.
    • Timberland is providing important support and resources to the project.

    The U.S. Department of Labor is providing funds to the project to help support the seamstresses in Afghanistan that will be making the new uniforms. Labor is awarding a $300,000 grant to Vital Voices to help support the school uniforms project. And Labor will conduct a $1.5 million program over three years to help enhance women’s inclusion in the workplace by providing information on career possibilities and rights, as well as specific skills and capabilities that will enable women to find and hold jobs.