Active in Germany

Two associations - one goal

In Afghanistan:

AFGHAN LUMINOUS SUN - NAZO - Professional Education Center (ALS)


In Germany:

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

NAZO* was founded in 2003 by Elke Jonigkeit. She has been making documentaries since 1979. Since 1985, 8 Films have been made in Afghanistan about the way women think and live. Nurullah Ebrahimy was involved from the beginning, first as a translator and interpreter, later as a co-organizer. The film work in war-torn Afghanistan led both of them to commit themselves to the people on the ground, beyond the film work. The two sister associations "Afghan Luminous Sun - NAZO Professional Cooperation Center for Afghan Women" in Kabul and "NAZO Deutschland e.V. - Hilfe für afghanische Frauen" in Lohmar were founded. In 2021 Nurullah Ebrahimy took over the chairmanship of the association from Elke Jonigkeit and the association's headquarters were moved to Düsseldorf.

Help for self-help - thoughts from Elke Jonigkeit

"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 and supervised locally by local people, can respond to the respective national customs and traditions, can take into account the partiarchal structures and sensitivities. The locals know the mentality and the problems of the people they take care of and can thus work very effectively and achieve sustainable success.

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.

Last update: 05.02.2021