Active in Germany

NAZO* was started in 2003 by Elke Jonigkeit. She has been making documentaries since 1979. Since 1985 eight films have been created about the way of thinking and living of women in Afghanistan. Right from the beginning Nurullah Ebrahimy was present, initially as a translator, later on as a co-organizer. The film work in war ravaged Afghanistan lead both to stand up for the local population - beyond filming.  The two sister organizations  „Afghan Luminous Sun – NAZO Professional Cooperation Center for Afghan Women“ in Kabul and „NAZO Deutschland e.V. – Hilfe für afghanische Frauen“ in Lohmar were established.

Two organizations - one goal


In Afghanistan:

NAZO-Afghanistan (renamed in AFGHAN LUMINOUS SUN - NAZO - Professional Education Center (ALS)


In Germany:

NAZO-Deutschland - Hilfe für afghanische Frauen e.V.



Help for self-help - thoughts from Elke Jonigkeit

Elke and Parwin in Kabul

„I'm still doing fine - I do have a roof over my head, I am educated, teacher. We must do something for the women (primarily the begging war widows) who have nothing.“

My friend Parwin said this to me, when we stood in front of the ruin in the totally destroyed Kabul in 2002, which had once been her home. This sentence was like a wake-up call for me. I have been filming documentaries for 35 years about people who were cruelly hit by fate. First about Polish, Russian and Jewish victims of the German Nazi era. Later on the sorely afflicted Afghans added to it. A completed film always leaves an emptiness in me behind, there is always something missing. Very often the protagonists asked me for concrete help - but there was nothing else I could give apart from money. Their problems most rarely were solved this way. Even if this sentence of my friend made me deeply sad, it also gave me the strength to start the HELP for SELF-HELP project NAZO.  

Today NAZO has been working for over 10 years. The initial excessive euphoria gave way to a daily commitment. We all - in Germany, as well as in Afghanistan - had to resolve many problems over the years and we have learned a lot from it. But more important is the feeling of success when reserved, suppressed women and girls with hanging shoulders become open and independent women with an upright walk, looking into your eyes with confidence. Today they have learned different professions and can - as Afghan women would put it - "earn their bread themselves". Nowadays they stand tall and sell the NAZO products within and outside Afghanistan. 

The small projects which are managed by local inhabitants can react to the respective national customs and habits. They can take into account patriarchal structures and sensitivities. The locals know the mentality and problems of the people they are taking care of and thus can work very effectively and achieve sustainable successes.  

Today you don't hear a lot about the women. Official Afghanistan news are about the military, especially the withdrawal of the troops until the end of 2014. Also "our" NAZO women are thinking about this. They will not give up their achieved rights, they will fight for it with all their strength.

„The year 2014 is approaching. Also among our women there is a lot of discussion about it. Some are happy about it and believe that the security problems will defuse afterwards. Others expect the complete opposite and are afraid. We will continue with force and keep our positive direction - without the slightest delay. In our dreams we see a bright future.“

This is how the daughters of Hafiza, who together with Parwin started the organization in Afghanistan, describe the mood among the women and girls in the NAZO centers. 

Hafiza's daughters