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NGO's in Iran

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Popli Khalatbari Charitable Foundation - Malayek Center and Aliasghar Hospital - May 10
I have known Diana Khalatbari for many years and my admiration and respect for her has always been high. Last year, despite the fact that she lost her beloved husband after a long illness, she did not give up on her zest and enthusiasm for the charity Popli Khalatbari Charitable Foundation (PKCF) and within a short time she redoubled her efforts to raise funds for all the wonderful projects that PKCF starts, carries on and maintains in Iran and in other countries.


The House of Mother and Child - May 09
Last weekend we were invited to Roudbar in Gilan province, about 270 km from Tehran, to visit and become familiar with the work and activities of the charity Khaneh Modr-va-Kudak (House of Mother and Child). We were shown round by Mr Fotovat, who is the chairman, and we were able to stay at the guest house near to the place.



Behnam Daheshpour Charitable Organization: An Iranian NGO helping cancer patients - May 09
The Behnam Daheshpour Charitable Organization is a well known and respected NGO that helps people who suffer from cancer. I have known about them for many years yet have not been able to officially introduce them to Payvand readers for different reasons.




Mahak charity holds Norouz Bazaar in Tehran
Last week we went to see one of the best events in Tehran, and the fact that all the proceeds benefitted Mahak, the charity for children with cancer in Tehran was a big extra attraction. The bazaar was organized by the fantastic, energetic and professional Mahak Youth Group and had a lot of buzz and fun about it.  - 2/26/09




Mehr - An Iranian NGO that invests in women and helps to empower them
Recently I went to a very enjoyable charity bazaar organized by Mehr Women Charity Organization. I had visited a similar event about three years ago and was keen to see how the NGO had grown since I last reported on it.  - 2/16/09



Mothers for Peace Demonstrate in Tehran Against the War in Gaza
Mothers for Peace in Iran are a group of women who came together to share their solidarity and belief in peace and harmony in the world and dialogue and understanding rather than violence and war. Today, Sunday, they demonstrated in front of the Palestinian embassy in Tehran.  - 1/11/09


So happy to be at school!
Because of its position in the Middle East, Iran has been a home to over a million refugees from Iraq and Afghanistan. Many are children of school age. Some of them are legal and have papers giving them permission to live here, others are illegal. For the past two years the legal ones have been allowed to go to school, but they have to pay between 500,000 to 800,000 rials! ($50-$80). Many of the families can hardly afford to buy food, let alone pay for their children's education. -Syma Sayyah & Paul Sanford, Tehran - 12/23/08


Mahak Way is the Way of love and Hope
Mahak, the childrens cancer charity of Tehran which was formed and is built on love is thriving on the hope and joy of giving by the many good supporters who met last week, before the Ramadan month of fasting ended, at a ceremony which was held in honor of Mahak's good and traditional and caring donors and the diplomatic community for eftari- a special meal to break the daily fast- at the auditorium at Mahak Hospital and Rehabilitation Center in Darabad. -Syma Sayyah and Paul Sanford, Tehran - 10/1/08


IDB Award for Saideh Ghods, the Mahak chief
Mahak is a non-governmental organization dedicated to caring for children with cancer in Iran. It runs a large hospital in northern Tehran on private donations. Among Mahak's many successes I would like to inform you of one of its recent ones.  - 7/8/08



The Color of Love: An Exhibition for a great cause in Tehran
Mahak and Mrs. Ferial Salahsour, the art collector and manager of the Day Art Gallery have come up with a wonderful idea of staging an art show for which all the art works have been donated by the artists for fund raising for Mahak and all the money raised will benefit the needy children with cancer in Iran.  - 6/24/08



Parvin Ardalan Wins the Olof Palme 2007 award
With great joy and absolute delight, we learned that our dear friend Parvin Ardalan has won the Olof Palme Award for 2007. This award is given for an outstanding achievement in the spirit of Olof Palme, the late Swedish prime minister who was assassinated in 1986.  - 2/14/08


Science and Art Foundation's wonderful work in Bam
The main goal of SAF is to empower Iranian youth through IT education and bring them into the realm of the 21st century. I became familiar with SAF through its founder Dr Edalat in London and my friend Mojgan and Dr Tabesh at the SAF office in Tehran. SAF has branches in many countries and has helped to truly advance computer usage and abilities in many schools all over Iran.  - 5/9/07



Iranian Supporting Institute for Hearing Impaired (ISIHI)
It is always good to discover an organisation in this huge city of ours where dedicated individuals are doing their best for a special group of people. Last week, as part of my work for the Popli Khalatbari Charitable Foundation (PKCF) I went with my husband Paul to see Mr Sadeghi, Mr Yekta and Mrs Amir Kaveh who with the help of others run the Iranian Supporting Institute for Hearing Impaired (ISIHI).  - 4/30/07


A Visit to Hazrat-e Seyed-Al Shohada Charity Hospital in Tehran
As part of my work for Popli Khalatbari Charitable Foundation (PKCF), I have come to know many interesting people and places. As the Iranian New Year approaches, I am writing these so that Payvand readers can learn how much good work is being done by good people who think of others and try to help them without asking for anything.  - 3/16/07



Fundraising at Tehran's 7th Tir Rehabilitation Center for Girls
Yesterday we went to one of their bazaars, selling handicrafts, some of which the girls had made. We were able to buy several gifts for Norouz, including a lovely little Haft Sin set. Here are some photographs for you!  - 3/9/07


A clinic for the poor in East Tehran
Tehran is truly a very big city and although I have spent most of my life here, I keep discovering corners that I never knew existed before. Recently, through an organization that I work for, I went to meet Mrs. Fatemeh Fazelzadeh who is in charge of the 14 Masoum (innocents) Clinic in the east of Tehran, at the far end of the Hemmat expressway, Serraj Ave.  - 2/20/07


Left behind flowers of life, and Khaneh Mehr
I have often written here about the many charitable organizations (NGOs) that work with children in Tehran. This time I would like to inform you about yet another good place that I have known about for some time and I have been meaning to write about their works and activities. Yet every time something happened to prevent this, this time I was determined and here is my short report on the activities of the Society for the Protection of Street and Working Children (SPSWC).  - 1/23/07



A place of joy for children in South Tehran
There are many organizations and charities that work for children around Tehran. Some are there to work for the children, and for some of them the children are there to provide work. Even though the former are more common, and most of these organizations are there to serve the children and do what they can to improve their life and wellbeing in general.  - 12/14/06


The Imam-Ali Alzheimer Charity Foundation
Many of you may not be aware that there is a modest foundation which cares for those who suffer from Alzheimers here in Tehran. I was told about the place by my good friend Zari who is involved with several helpful organizations. I went there one day late last month.  - 12/1/06



Tehran's Women Cultural Center Holds Ceremony in honor of Ms Shahla Lahiji
Last Monday evening, we were invited by Markazz Farhangi Zanan (Women Cultural Center - Zanestan ) to attend a ceremony in honor of Ms. Shahla Lahiji's recent achievement of winning the First IPA Publishers' Freedom Prize 2006.  - 11/9/06


WHAT IS MISSING IN BAM: General impressions of a short trip to Bam
Last month I revisited Bam after almost two years. Lots had happened and yet there was so much that was still the same. As we drove through the streets of Bam and villages nearby, I was taken aback that despite the fact that so many people have put so much effort and so much money has been spent, there was not enough to show for it, and besides that it seemed to me that something was missing.  - 10/24/06



Popli Khalatbari Charitable Foundation spreading kindness and hope in Iran
Last week I went to Bam to have a look at the Popli Khalatbari Charitable Foundation’s ( ongoing project of building a Vocational School for 420 girls in Bam. There I met Mrs. Diana Khalatbari whose endless zest and hard work puts many to shame. This lady is the one of the most determined individuals I have ever met in my life  - 10/17/06


Second Bam report: Ongoing projects
During my recent lightning trip to Bam, I was able to check on the progress of several projects. I was on the planning committee of the Women’s NGOs and CSOs Coordinating Committee for the Restoration of Bam which originally represented more than 44 NGOs and is building a Cultural Center for Women in Bam.  - 10/13/06



The Right to Pass Nationality to the Children of Iranian Mothers
Recently, I accepted an invitation to be on a committee of volunteers and activists who want to try to change the particular law which specifies that Iranian nationality can only be passed to a child through his or her father.  - 10/6/06



Narcotics Anonymous in Iran
Some time ago I went to see an interesting gentleman in central Tehran. His name is Siamak; he is the coordinator and in charge of NA World Services Office in Tehran1. Yes, you may not know it but NA (Narcotics Anonymous) has a branch office in Iran, one of the only 4 official offices in the world  - 6/8/06



"Life should go on as long as there are poppies": Mohebie School for the Blind
Last Thursday I went to see Mr Lavasani at the Mohebie School for the Blind. It is a residential centre which was opened in 1963 and has several buildings some of which were added to the school later, built by donation. I went there, with an appointment, on behalf of Popli Foundation on a fact finding mission.  - 4/24/06



Iranian women NGOs making a difference in Iran
Many people talk about things that cannot be done here in Iran; here and in the next few pieces I shall be telling you some short stories about work and projects that are happening or being done successfully, sometimes modestly and sometimes on a grand scale.  - 12/30/05



Mehr is an Iranian NGO that invests in women and helps to empower them
Mehr believes in promoting and improving women’s lives by empowering those women who are family heads and the main breadwinners. Through this, they aim to reduce depravity, vice, decadence and rakishness and bring safety, stability self-confidence and a happy and healthy home. In this way they help open a horizon of hope and create sense of positivism for tomorrow, in an environment that hope is scarce and efforts are rewarded very little.  - 12/20/05



Popli Khalatbari Charitable Foundation Vocational School
The Popli Khalatbari Charitable Foundation has done it again! This hard working NGO puts shame on the faces of those who say that one cannot work in Iran. They, and the work they do in Iran (among other places) prove that once there is a will there is a way. If you really mean it you can do it, and do it well, on time, without fuss and with highest standards.  - 12/15/05



Payback Time
Many Payvand readers write to me for many diverse and different reasons. One of them was a youngish reader who asked me if I could help him find an NGO that he could work for during his forthcoming visit to Tehran. I introduced him to one such NGO which asked him to get in touch with them to arrange things.  - 6/23/05


Iranian women hold protest gathering in Tehran
On Sunday June 12, a coalition of Iranian groups and individuals held a gathering in Tehran to protest the violation of women rights as guaranteed by the constitution. The gathering was held in the capital city in front of Tehran University.  - 6/13/05




The Future: the Iranian Women
Women in Iran, like in the rest of the world, are making it really big. In the past couple of months I have attended a number of involved women groups, NGOs and Civil Society meetings.  - 6/10/05


The colorful ladies of 7th Tir rehabilitation center in Tehran
Here are the latest pictures that I took at the 7th Tir Rehabilitation Center for Girls in North Tehran, when I went there last week. These girls who study at the Popli building at the center attend small classes and learn many new trades. This center allows these young girls (from 5-35) hope and a have a sense of comfort.  - 6/3/05




My visit to Brugge, Belgium
I was in Brugge because in the last week of November I was one of a number of women delegates who went to Brussels as part of a female initiative program which aims to build bridges of understanding, cooperation and friendship between our two nations (Iran and Belgium).  - 1/4/05


Iranian Women NGO’s Empowerment Bazaar in Tehran
I would like to share with you the empowerment, not charity type of bazaar that we went to a short while back. This bazaar was mainly inspired by women groups involved in environment and women empowerment programs. These include Green Outlook Supporters, Women with Good Intention, Green Women Co-op. Gitta Mehr Group and 13th Abban Local Kitchen.  - 11/23/04



A Lovely Day In Lavasan
Several weeks ago, we had an unusual board meeting for one of the NGOs (Non Governmental Organization) that I work for. At this NGO we believe that it is important to spend some quality relaxed time together once in a while in order to find happy and mutual experiences to enhance the sense of togetherness and to bond.  - 8/27/04


Empowering The Youth: Works Of Science & Arts Foundation In Iran
Another SAF project that I had the pleasure of learning about first hand was a girls high school, Alzahra, which is an ordinary school, run by local educational authorities in the 17th municipality section of Tehran, yet it is most sought after by parents. I guess the fact that at least about 85% of all their final year students get to Iranian universities of their choice, and mainly in science courses, have something to do with this demand.  - 6/4/04


My trip to Iran's quake stricken Bam in May
There was still a haze in the air everywhere we went, like a touch of dust, blocking the view. Generally speaking small scale works have been done or are under way, but nowhere big enough or fast enough. There were big queues in front of government offices during the working days.  - 5/28/04



Iran: Women’s NGOs & CSOs Coordinating Committee for Restoration of Bam
I went to Bam earlier this month as part of my responsibilities in Bam Zanan Group, a coalition of 44 Women NGOs that was formed immediately after the earthquake in Bam, last December. We went there to seek the help of city officials to grant us a piece of land so that we can take our project to the next phase.  - 5/25/04



Sanitary Facilities in Iran’s quake-stricken Bam
One of the biggest problems that people have in Bam, in the city and especially in the camps, is sanitation; clean public toilets, a place where people can have a good and real shower, and a place to wash their clothes.  - 5/21/04


Girls School in Bam, Iran
Here are some pictures I took from a girls school (Addab) during my recent trip to Iran’s quake stricken city of Bam. There were some classes inside the trailers and some in the open space.  - 5/19/04




Bam, Iran: The Little Gardens of Sorrow
I felt almost an urge to go Bam's cemetery during my recent visit to this town which was devastated by a deadly quake in December 2003.  - 5/17/04


Iran Facing A New Century Conference At Oxford, England
There was a conference at Wadham College Oxford, organized by University of Oxford and The Oriental Institute, on IRAN FACING THE NEW CENTURY, which Dr. Katouzian and Dr. Sheikholeslami were joint conveners. It would be a three day conference and guest speakers were invited from US, France, Iran and UK.  - 5/5/04


Iranian women hold gathering in Tehran to protest portrayal of women on national television
The Women Cultural Center (WCC) in Tehran along with several other women organizations and groups helped arrange a gathering for those who wished to express their disgust or dismay towards policies for the projection of women’s role on Iran’s National Television Programs.  - 4/30/04


The Young Flemish Socialist, in Ghent, Belgium honor Shirin Ebadi

My phone rang on Wednesday before the Norouz and my friend Feri from Brussels asked me if I could send her my pictures that I had taken from Bam and which were published in Payvand, to be put on display at an event that was staged and organized by YFSG during which they were to honor Mrs. Ebadi and present her with a cash award for Bam.  - 4/28/04


8th March Celebration Prevented In Tehran, Arrests Made
Today, 8th March was supposed to be a day of celebration for women by women in Tehran’s Laleh park. We all thought it would be another peaceful day for solidarity among women, this time about violence against women.  - 3/9/04



Bam's progress is slow
I went to Bam last week on a good deed mission. Believe it or not, I was there to attend a business meeting. The company I work for is trying to set up a cooperative in our field of activity among those who have survived the quake in order to help these proud people who have lost everything to help themselves and to get them back to work and back on their feet.  - 3/8/04


Iran’s Revolution will finally bear fruit: The Nazi-Abbad Kids
The fact is that the democratic process is not ONLY for us educated, westernized Iranians. There are millions who for many different reasons have different time scales. We must use our patience so that the rest join us at the spring of freedom; the day will come but it is not here yet. I just hope we all have the courage to see what is good for the country as a whole, despite shortcomings for ourselves[1] personally.  - 2/18/04



Report from Bam, Iran: Unkindness of God and lack of care and attention by his sons
From the "seven gardens of sky” road we arrived in Bam. This was two weeks ago, after nearly six weeks of that devastating quake that shocked this city and left but a huge chunks of rubble all around in every corner that one may turn.  - 2/13/04



Bam, Iran: Children of a Lesser God
Everyone we saw, met or talked to in Bam had lost relatives and friends, neighbors and loved ones. I asked many people how they could manage to cope with all this? In reply they just turned and with sad eyes mostly said, “It was God’s will” or something to that effect. It was unbelievable and amazing how many times we heard the same statements from everyone; old or young, man or woman, the reply was the same.  - 2/4/04


Our hearts are aching for Bam’s quake victims
Yesterday was a strange day all over Tehran as people kept coming and going in the streets trying to buy or find things to send to our countrymen whom the god had taken no mercy on.  - 12/29/03




Iran: The Significance of Shirin Ebadi’s Nobel Peace Prize
I believe that Ms Ebadi would not have won the prize if she were not a woman or a Muslim. The fact that she is Iranian was not that significant, in hindsight. Once the heat of the moment passed, I had time to sit and think things over. The fact that she addresses herself as a Muslim so often is because she is.  - 12/17/03




They do not have to hang you to kill you (Roshanak Daryoush passes away)
Noushi took the black ribbon off the bouquet of white flowers that I had brought. She said Roushanak is alive and lives in our hearts. She was talking about her daughter, Roushanak Daryoush, the well-known translator and member of Iran Pen who passed away last week in Munich, Germany.  - 11/10/03




We need to work together for our country Iran!
It may come as a shock to some of us that there are people who don’t know who Shirin Ebadi is, and what Nobel Prize is, let alone what the Peace award is.  - 10/31/03


A get-together in Tehran to honor Shirin Ebadi, Iran's Nobel Peace Prize winner
Markaz Farhangi Zanann (Women Cultural Centre) had organized an informal get-together and invited representatives from women groups, Iranian NGOs, those who are involved in child and women welfare, environmentalist, prominent figures in art and media as well as known and supportive individual women. My mum was my special guest that day, as the gathering was happening in our house.  - 10/27/03


Shirin White Roses: Shirin Ebadi is with us and she is one of us!
The beautiful creamy moon light brightened this city of ours tonight. However, the light was coming from another direction, this one was brighter, stronger and had tremendous energy. The core of Iranians' much-extended middle class Tehranies were at the airport tonight. Students, teachers, doctors, nurses, writers, journalists, artists, engineers, taxi drivers, housewives, retired people, factory owners and workers, managers, handicapped in chairs and even a couple of babies in their prams were all there.  - 10/15/03


It feels like spring here in Tehran
Tehran has been quietly buzzing since yesterday when the news arrived of Ms Ebadi’s Nobel Prize. There is not a woman I know who could not be happy about this event. -Syma Sayyah - 10/13/03



Iran: Our time will come, but we must be patient
At a meeting this week, I heard that at the First National Youth Organizations Congress, which was attended by several important dignitaries including the president, the participants managed to get into fistfights and breaking of windows on the second day.  - 9/12/03


Donors' Relations with NGOS in IRAN: How to overcome some of our cultural and social handicaps
I want to confer with those inside and outside our country, about their attitude towards NGOs in Iran. Emphasizing strongly here that I am only referring to true NOGs, those which are and want to retain their independence from government, any government involvement completely, in order to do their chosen task, and perform as real NGOs should.  - 7/28/03




International Women Day in Tehran
International women's day celebration in Tehran was a little different this year. This time it was a series of events, over a period of ten days, by different women groups.  - 3/10/03


A short note on NGOs in Iran
Doing a good deed and helping your fellow-man, either individually or as group or community, has a long tradition in Iran. Recent times have seen the emergence of a more formal type of help in the shape of Non-Governmental Organizations or NGOs.  - 1/22/03