Fatema Bayat, Executive Director of the Bayat Foundation, a 501 c(3) charitable organization committed to improving the quality of life for the youth, women, poor, and elderly of Afghanistan, took advantage of the Foundation's annual dinner on 12 October to announce the official launch of Beautify Afghanistan, a new strategic initiative for the Foundation in 2013.
"Afghanistan is a nation blessed with tremendous natural resources and beauty," Mrs. Bayat said. "Unfortunately, through mismanagement, indifference, desperation, and ignorance, Afghanistan's bounty of nature has become scarred by overuse, pollution, and neglect. Many Afghans today struggle to find adequate sources of potable water and polluted water has become a major factor in the spread of diseases such as diphtheria, cholera and malaria. To help combat this, we are pleased to announce a new strategic initiative for 2013 and beyond – Beautify Afghanistan: Education. Empowerment. Environment. We are confident that this program will help Afghans to engage with their natural environment in more productive and sustainable ways than at present, helping to ensure a lasting legacy of natural beauty and resource for future generations."
The program's mission is to engage, empower, educate, and excite Afghans – especially those most at-risk citizens – to act on behalf of, and take greater responsibility for, their community environments in order to restore hope, pride, honor, beauty, and economic security to Afghanistan. It is designed as an "umbrella" initiative which will initiate, manage, provide catalyst funding, administer, and develop support for multiple environmental programs that will change behaviors and improve communities. It will be focused on programs that are developed for Afghans, by Afghans, and recognize the inherent interaction between people & nature. Projects will be about managing people and providing incentives to change behavior as much as managing environmental issues.
Championing principles such as education, individual responsibility, public-private partnerships, and sustainable economic support focused on Afghanistan's at-risk women and youth, Beautify Afghanistan's initial focus will be on the restoration of the Kabul River. The Foundation will turn Streams Into Stability by organizing cleanups of rubbish, promoting new – more sanitary – ways of handling wastewater and sewage, restoring a sense of national pride in the waterway as a symbol of Afghanistan's vibrancy and natural health, and creating economically sustainable initiatives for at-risk Afghans that revolve around the river.
About the Bayat Foundation
Since 2005, the US-based Bayat Foundation, a 501 c(3) charitable organization, has promoted the well-being of the Afghan people. Founded and directed by Ehsan Bayat and Fatema Bayat, the Foundation has contributed to more than 200 projects dedicated to improving the quality of life for the youth, women, poor, and elderly of Afghanistan. Projects have included the construction of new facilities and sustainable infrastructure in needy regions, and the promotion of health, education, economic, and cultural programs. In addition to his charitable initiatives, Ehsanollah Bayat founded Afghan Wireless (AWCC) in 2002 – a joint venture between Telephone Systems International, Inc. (TSI) and the Ministry of Communications – which was the first GSM wireless and Internet Service Provider in Afghanistan, and later established Ariana Radio and Television Network (ATN), which includes Ariana Radio (FM 93.5).