Saturday, February 25, 2012

Mrs. Laura Bush attends Afghan Benefit

Ray Mahmood and former First Lady Laura Bush
Photo credit: Neshan H. Naltchayan

The Benefit for Afghan Street Children honored General (Ret.) & Mrs. Richard B. Myers - who were both instrumental in securing medical care and the building of a medical clinic for Afghan street children - at the Residence of The Ambassador of the Netherlands and hosted by Her Excellency the Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Renee Jones-Bos and Dr. Richard Huw Jones.

Background:  Gen. Richard B. Myers, USAF (Ret) was Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (2001-2005).  Mary Jo Myers is Vice President of the Aschiana Foundation.

Former First Lady Laura Bush, who has visited and supports Aschiana in Kabul, was there to lend a hand to raise funds for Aschiana which provides food, healthcare, literacy and vocational training to street children in Afghanistan.

The 150 guests participated in a silent auction and Afghan Bazaar that included rugs, jewelry, clothing and artwork by the children.  Guests present were Mrs. Sultana Hakimi. Mrs. Patricia Silberman, Annie McChrystal, Amb Said Jawad and Mrs. Shamin Jawad, Mr. Ray Mahmood and wife Shaista Mahmood, The Hon. Ted Olson and wife, Lady Booth Olson, The Hon. Anita McBride, Mr. Masud Akbar and Mrs. Cidalia Akbar.

The Aschiana Foundation is a 501(c)(3) charity established in the United States in 2004 by a group of diplomats, military spouses, and others who had witnessed the desperate plight of illiterate but industrious children in Afghanistan. 

In February 2012, The New York Times reported that children dying in tent camps from lack of food and warm clothing in Kabul’s coldest winter in 20 years but “… Aschiana, which has the largest full-time presence in the camps, reported raising more than $17,000 in a few days from small donors in the United States through its American branch.”  And “… Aschiana, had made a delivery of blankets, and was planning to come back on Sunday with clothing – at least the third such donation in a few days…” 

There are an estimated 600,000 working street children in Afghanistan.

A look inside the event: