Why don’t you have a donation seal?

We finance ourselves – like many other associations – through grants and through your donations, even though we do not have a donation seal.
The German Central Institute for Social Issues (DZI) in Berlin has been awarding such a seal since 1992. You may wonder why we do not join this organization like so many others.
The effort and cost of the seal are great – and there is a legitimate question about the benefits. For the same reasons, Greenpeace, Terres des femmes or Amnesty International, for example, do not have a DZI seal.
We would like to explain our attitude briefly:
We are still a very small association. The main reason is the costs. We try to keep the administrative costs as low as possible – with a seal they would increase many times over.
Just joining would cost us 1500 €, then we would have to pay 500 € for the annual seal audit and 0.035% of the annual donations. We would have to change the entire bookkeeping and accounting to the DZI standards. We still do the relatively simple income/expenditure accounting ourselves with the help of an accountancy firm. The annual costs for this have so far been around 1000 €. An external annual audit by the DZI would triple the costs for us.

How do you guarantee that donations do not end up in the hands of the Taliban?

For the past fifteen years, NATO troops have been fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan, and billions of foreign funds have flowed into the country. Nevertheless, Afghanistan is one of the poorest countries in the world. The main culprit has been pervasive corruption, among politicians and state officials. We have managed for 15 years to carry out our work on the ground through conviction and perseverance – without putting a single cent in the wrong pocket. The Taliban – in view of their acute need for money – are trying to get a piece of the pie. This is despite the fact that they seem to have managed to stop the previously high levels of corruption for the time being. There are draconian penalties for bribery, embezzlement and fraud. We continue to stand firm. Before we have to cede some of the money to the current rulers, we prefer not to bring any money to Afghanistan. So far, however, we continue to do well with our tactic of convincing those responsible that an improvement in the living conditions of the population is also of benefit to them. This ensures that all our donations go to where they are most urgently needed.

Why are some faces made unrecognizable?

Every day, people are kidnapped, robbed, raped or even killed. After the Taliban took power, especially people who work for the promotion of women’s rights live very dangerously. Fundamentalist forces (Taliban and IS) have gained influence – and can again particularly intimidate, threaten and hurt women as they did during the first Taliban rule.
Globalization makes it possible to see websites in Afghanistan and all over the world. The Taliban themselves seem to have arrived at digitalization and are increasingly using platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and the like.
So that no one can identify the women, we decided at the request of Afghanistan to edit the photos so that the women are no longer recognizable – and put an asterisk on their faces.