Afghan women entrepreneurs to receive free laptops during Thunderbird program
The incoming class of women entrepreneurs from Afghanistan, who will arrive on Thunderbird’s Glendale campus this fall for Project Artemis, will receive free computers donated this week by Microchip Vice President of Information Services Rob Owen, a 2006 graduate of Thunderbird. Owen donated 15 executive-level laptops, software and carrying cases to the program, which provides business training and mentorship to women of Afghanistan.
“When we bring the Afghan women to Thunderbird for Project Artemis, we want them to leave with all of the tools necessary to be successful businesswomen,” says Kellie Kreiser, director of Thunderbird for Good. “Having access to technology and the Internet isn’t a luxury any more, but a necessity. Mr. Owen’s incredible gift is going to open doors to the world for them. His generosity has changed the lives of 15 women and their families forever.”
Also supporting Project Artemis, which is run and supported solely on philanthropic donations, is Afghan Ambassador to the United States Said Jawad and his wife, Mrs. Shamim Jawad, who are hosting Sunset at the Embassy Sept. 4. The fundraising event will be held at the Embassy of Afghanistan in Washington, D.C., from 6 to 8 p.m. The evening, which is dedicated to developing awareness of the challenges and successes Afghan women face in their homeland, will be highlighted by a sunset reception featuring Afghan food, entertainment and other festivities.
Started in 2005, Project Artemis provides women from war-torn Afghanistan with entrepreneurial training, coaching, mentoring and access to resources that have allowed them to help rebuild their ravaged nation by starting small businesses in their homeland. The computers, which were paid for and donated by Owen, will be given to the new class of fellows during their training on Thunderbird’s Glendale campus Oct. 10-26.
The 15 members of this year’s Artemis class range from 25-44 years old and will come from the Afghan cities of Kabul, Mazar-e-sharif, Kandahar, Herat and Ghazni. Their business concepts range from beauty salons, fabric and other textile creation and importing, tailoring, handicrafts, architecture, medical imports and operations, and agricultural products.
Some interesting facts about the new class include the following: One fellow spent four days in jail under the Taliban rule for defying the restrictions on women working outside the home. One represented Afghanistan at the World Association of Women Entrepreneurs 55th World Congress in Cairo. One is working to establish a pre-natal and maternal health care clinic. One acts as a liaison with the government’s Ministry of Women’s Affairs.
The names and background information on the new class will be announced at the Sunset event in Washington.