Empowering Afghan Women for a Better Future
In August 2013, the AFAW was created to help the dire situation in Southern Afghanistan. Paula knows that, with a village of caring Americans, many lives can be changed for the better in Southern Afghanistan. Our focus of lessening the abuse of women in that area is key. Her last program was mainly in Kabul. It is time now to move on to Kandahar and Helmand, since good seeds need to be planted there.
Paula Nirschel has been a frequent visitor to Afghanistan. Over the years she has combined her work visits with many good times spent with Afghan hosts and friends. Afghan hospitality and pride is the best. Nirschel commits her life's work to promoting a better life for Afghan women, their families, and communities.
In 2001, Paula created a successful nonprofit education program for Afghan women. The mission was to educate future female leaders for Afghanistan, in the areas of business and politics. Fifty five women graduated with four-year US college degrees. Their experience was life changing and contributed to the great pride of their homeland. Doris Buffet was the largest donor, and Laura Bush was a mentor, having Paula speak at many of her functions.
Nirschel has received the following awards/honors:
Interviewed by Katie Couric on the Today Show
Participated in the G8 Summit, Georgia. Spoke at a roundtable discussion with the presidential spouses
Mrs. Bush graduated her first students and gave the commencement speech
Attended White House luncheons and dinners
Speaker at Hawaii International Women Leadership Conference, hosted by governor
One of 14 program leaders, in Afghanistan and Iraq, honored by the President
Featured speaker at NYC Colony Club
Featured speaker at World Affairs Forum conference in Stamford, CT
Program received the 2007 New England Higher Education Excellence Award
Keynote speaker at annual NAFSA Region V111 Conference - DC
Outstanding Alumni Award - Southern CT State University
Her work has been featured in media outlets including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, USA Today, CNN, CBS, Christian Science, Boston Globe, International Herald Tribune, National Public Radio, Advancing Philanthropy, Providence Journal, and Rhode Island Monthly.
Paula is the proud mother of three children, a son in law, and a daughter in law, and two grandchildren. She cherishes her family and friends. Time off is spent out in nature, active, reading, volunteering, traveling, and enjoying the gift of life.