Roshan and Siemens provide Afa. 5.0 Million to support Aschiana

Kabul, December 1st, 2006: The partnership between Afghanistan’s leading cellular company Roshan and its main equipment supplier Siemens reached a new level of cooperation with the joint support of five million Afghanis to the Afghan based Non-Governmental Organization Aschiana. A total of U.S. $ 70,000 or 3.5 million Afghanis was raised from the employees of Siemens Austria and Siemens Croatia through the “Roshan brings Roshan” Program. As a demonstration of Roshan’s commitment to their partnership with Siemens and their commitment to Aschiana and the Afghan reconstruction process, Roshan raised an additional U.S. $ 30,000 or 1.5 million Afghanis, to bring the cumulative total to U.S. $ 100,000 or 5 million Afghanis.
Aschiana (meaning “the nest”) is an Afghan Non-Government Organization that has provided services, support and programs to children working in the street and their families for close to eleven years. Aschiana operates seven drop in centers across Kabul - centers where children can attend half-day of schooling or vocational training, sport, music, art and food - and operates an outreach program for internally displaced children.

Speaking about their joint initiative, the head of Roshan’s Social Programs, Shainoor Khoja emphasized that the care of Afghan working and street children should be a priority for those involved in the reconstruction of Afghanistan. Roshan has been supporting Aschiana since 2005, through the sponsorship of their six Soup Kitchens in Kabul that provide one meal a day to approximately 10,000 children each month.

The funds raised through this Roshan-Siemens initiative will go towards the educational sponsorship of 125 working and street children and for the establishment of an additional six soup kitchens in other parts of Afghanistan, giving meaningful support to Aschiana’s plans to expanding its humanitarian and capacity building services to a greater number of children in a larger geographical area.

At the ceremony to mark the presentation of the cheque to Aschiana on 5th November, 2006, Roshan’s CEO Karim Khoja said “I am extremely proud to be standing here with my colleagues from Siemens Austria and Croatia and to be making a difference to the lives of children in Afghanistan. It is a privilege to work with partners who like Roshan place great importance on supporting the communities in which they live and operate. Roshan and Siemens are jointly investing in improving the quality of life of Afghan children.”

Mr. Appletaur from Siemens Austria said “It gives me great pleasure to have Siemens Austria and Croatia participate in the “Roshan brings Roshan” Program and through the efforts of all our employees to provide support that benefits the children of Aschiana.”

The Director of Aschiana, Engineer Yousef acknowledged this substantial support: “What Siemens and Roshan have done is provide a shining example of effective corporate social responsibility. Roshan’s continued support and that of its partners and employees through the Roshan brings Roshan program has ensured that we can continue to develop programs for these children.”

Aschiana began its activities in March 1995 in Shar-I-Naw area of Kabul city to address the needs of children begging and working on the streets in this area. By 1998 four centers had been established throughout Kabul and in 2002 a centre opened for accelerated education for higher aged girls. Aschiana was also responsible for establishing home based schooling in different areas of Kabul to provide education to the girls who did not have the opportunities to seek out education in the centers. In order to support the families particularly the mothers of the working and street children, programs such as carpet weaving, tailoring, chicken raising, women’s bakeries and hairdressing were established for the women, along with education surrounding issues relating to health, child rights and human rights.

Roshan (Telecom Development Company Afghanistan Ltd) is Afghanistan’s leading cellular operator, with a countrywide network of 155 cities and towns. Roshan directly employs more than 800 people and provides indirect employment to more than 15,000 people. Roshan has invested over US$ 220 million in Afghanistan and is the country’s single largest investor and tax payer contributing approximately six percent of the Afghan Government’s overall revenue. Roshan is deeply committed to Afghanistan’s reconstruction and socio-economic development.

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