Afghan crafts up for auction at the Kabultec Benefit Dinner.
The display of crafts at each annual benefit dinner draws admiring buyers and serves to honor the artists who made them.

For more than a decade, I have been privileged to serve Kabultec. The organization is small, but its impact is huge. From serving on the board to seeking and finding funders to coordinating events, I work to advance the organization on a pro bono basis.

A highlight of my connection was hosting Nasrine for 2 consecutive years with 7th graders I taught in a social justice class. Using rich imagery of Afghanistan and its people, she spoke about what life is like for kids their own age. Nasrine showed scenes of everyday life, including living in confined spaces in yurts and other small dwellings. She also discussed what it’s like to live in an Afghan orphanage and how Kabultec provides support for them. In spite of cultural differences, Nasrine and class members identified commonalities between children in Afghanistan and in the USA. I have no doubt that Nasrine’s presentation made a strong impression on each student.

Volunteers sorting auction items.
A team of volunteers spend weeks preparing for the silent auction.

Managing, coordinating, and emceeing Kabultec’s annual benefit dinner over many years has been a special honor for me. The event is time and labor intensive and requires many volunteers. I never cease to marvel at the unique crafts Nasrine brings from Afghanistan each year for the auction. Through their creations – from glass to textiles to jewelry and more – it feels like talented Afghan artisans are among us. That many treasures come from women’s cooperatives—as well as street markets—makes them all the more meaningful. For dinner, we are treated to the most delicious, authentic Afghan food I’ve ever tasted. Most is made from scratch in Nasrine’s kitchen with a team of assistants.

Learning about Kabultec’s couples-literacy program that touches the lives of all its students also touches our own lives, as Kabultec supporters. We hear about and see photos of the classes from Nasrine and benefit keynote speakers. Perhaps the most impact I felt came from a documentary made by Susan Andersen, “Love Letters from Kabul.” There, the mission and the impact of the program are made real.

I thank Nasrine and the Kabultec team for enriching my life through its impactful work.

My Experience With Kabultec, by Annette Scarpitta