Off to Kabul

The News: I am taking two weeks off to go to Kabul, Afghanistan to facilitate an Information Technology workshop series.

I will be leaving for Kabul in a day or so. I am going to use the currently popular internet tool – blog – to keep all of you posted. I am hoping that I will have internet access and the time to post elaborate blogs from Kabul. If I do post my travelogue, this blog tool will help me to avoid having to spam everyone with email updates that only some of you might be interested in. So, you now have the freedom to come back here and check the updates whenever and however you please. :-)

Women’s Learning Partnership (WLP at is sending me to Kabul, Afghanistan to facilitate a series of information technology training-of-trainers workshops. The workshop series is organized in cooperation with their local partner organization, Afghan Institute of Learning (AIL). The purpose of the series is to enable Afghan trainers, primarily women, to gain skills to train their constituencies in the effective use of computers, word-processing, email, internet, and other ICT (Information and Communication Technology) tools for women’s empowerment, rights advocacy, and professional advancement. ICT and women’s empowerment is a powerful and fascinating combination, so how can I even resist this? ;-)

WLP is an international, non-governmental organization (NGO) based in Bethesda Maryland. Their mission is to empower women and girls in the Global South to re-imagine and re-structure their roles in their families, communities, and societies. WLP fulfills its mission by providing leadership training, supporting capacity building, and helping women generate and receive information and knowledge. WLP conducts all of its work in collaboration with partner organizations located in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East, and with members of an international network of experts.

As some of you might already know I have worked closely with Women’s Learning Partnership (WLP) for a really long time now. WLP is an organization that is small in size but is huge in terms of the projects they do and the reputation they enjoy. WLP has longstanding commitments to their projects and their partners. They have worked with some causes long before they become cause célèbre and long after the glare of the last media spotlight has passed. Also, their leadership training and capacity building projects do not try to provide the ‘perfect solution’. Instead, they enable and empower women around the world to find their own solutions within their societal and cultural context.

So, I am pretty proud and honored that they asked me facilitate this workshop series. I will keep you posted on whether I did a good job of it or not! :-)

If you are wondering how I managed to find two weeks of vacation after coming back from my India trip in January, I have my company (Beaconfire Consulting) to thank for that. They have agreed to let me take this two-week personal time off and have even offered to donate some time to my vacation account to support this effort. Beaconfire works exclusively with non-profit organizations, so it is not a surprise that they were excited about this opportunity. However, for a consulting company that is dependent on its consultants being billable, this show of support is truly remarkable. Now you know why I love working at Beaconfire – they give me the opportunity to work with some of the coolest non-profit organizations nationally AND they give me time off to go work with international organizations. What more can one ask? :-)

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And in case you are wondering how you can support this effort, you can send me some good wishes via email or by posting comments/feedback right here in the blog. And of course, contributions are also welcome! ;-) Please consider contributing to Women’s Learning Partnership (WLP) so they can continue their great work. They are a registered 501c(3) organization, so your contribution is tax deductible if you live in the United States. You can donate online without much of a hassle. Find out how to support here:
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Until next missive,

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9 Responses to Off to Kabul

  1. Ami and Dhiren says:

    Usha,We are proud of you. Please take care of yourself. Our best wishes are with you.Ami and Dhiren.

  2. Ami and Dhiren says:

    Oh BTW, if you have some free baggage allowance on the USAF return flight, please bring me back a T-90 (in working condition). I have an urge to pacify some of my fellow motorists in Chennai. :-)

  3. chithra and krish says:

    Bravo!!! all the very best usha. take care. with love

  4. Ami says:

    Ush:Have a great trip!Just be very careful!HugsAmi

  5. Sangi says:

    Heyo!Hope you have enough hindi movies on vcd and cassettes. Apparently, that can buy you cooperation. Take care of yourself and please don’t do any nakhras that will compromise your security. Have fun – are you sure Afghani women are ready for you? IF EVER they get you to wear a burkha, I want a picture with the national geographic green eyes effect!:-D Have fun.Love,Sangi

  6. Mark Leta says:

    Hey Usha,Have a great trip and be careful. All of us here at Beaconfire are proud of you as well. We also can’t wait to hear your stories and see your photos when you get back.Cheers,Mark

  7. Bernadine says:

    Ush, I am proud of this brave and life changing mission! I hope you enjoy this experience and journal all your stories so you can re-live them when you return safely to us. I hope you have a successful trip! We will be thinking about you and sending you positive vibes.Love,Bernie and Shekhar

  8. anirudh says:

    Ushamma! all the best for your new assignment. Hope to see you here soon. take care..- mots mots

  9. michael cervino says:

    Usha, I wish I could have been there to see you in that suit!! I just can’t imagine it. I’m thrilled for you and so proud of what you’re doing.Michael

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