SAN JOSE, CA--(Marketwired - April 09, 2013) - Since its inception in 2008, The Khaled Hosseini Foundation -- created by best-selling author Khaled Hosseini (The Kite Runner, A Thousand Splendid Suns, and his new novel And the Mountains Echoed due out May 21st) -- has provided humanitarian assistance to some of the most marginalized people in Afghanistan: women, children and the over 5 million refugees who have returned to Afghanistan. The Khaled Hosseini Foundation has provided 417 shelters for refugee families as well as economic and educational opportunities and healthcare to women and children.
Since the fall of the Taliban in 2002, over 5 million Afghans have voluntarily returned home from refugee camps in Iran and Pakistan. With an estimated 500,000 homes either completely or partially destroyed over the course of the last three decades of conflict, millions of returnees are homeless. With an average winter temperature of only 25 degrees, many children and elderly freeze to death.
"During my visit to northern Afghanistan in September 2007, I met families who lived on less than a dollar a day. They spent entire winters cooped up in holes dug underground. I visited villages where families routinely lost ten to fifteen children to the elements every winter and every summer. The people I met drank water from muddy rivers and died of easily preventable diseases. They had little shelter and no access to health facilities, to schools, food, or jobs. I was devastated. On the flight home, I feared that this life-altering trip would be in vain. Soon after I arrived home, my wife, Roya, and I held long discussions about ways in which we could extend our personal blessings to the needy in Afghanistan. The Khaled Hosseini Foundation is the outcome of those discussions."
Since 2008, The Khaled Hosseini Foundation has funded 414 shelters for over 2,400 people through its partnership with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) shelter program. The Foundation has also funded scholarships for young women, literacy programs for adult women, sponsorship of street children to get them off the street and into schools, education centers that serve hundreds of children each year, an ultrasound machine for a maternity center, and an early education center to help break the chain of child labor in the handmade-rug industry.
As a service-learning component of The Khaled Hosseini Foundation, Student Outreach for Shelters (SOS) guides teachers and students through Khaled Hosseini's novels with free standards-based lesson plans and provides students the opportunity to save lives by raising funds to build permanent homes for the returning refugees in Afghanistan. Utilizing a variety of fundraising methods -- from bake sales to talent shows to recycling drives -- SOS students play an integral part in the welfare of families across the globe.
Says Jim Floyd, Social Studies Department Chair at Notre Dame High School in San Jose, California and SOS participant: "One of my favorite expressions is Gandhi's, 'Be the change you want to see in the world.' By participating in SOS, my students and I can help change a small part of the world."
Teachers, students, individuals and organizations interested in participating in SOS are encouraged to register online at http://www.sos4tkhf.com.
The Khaled Hosseini Foundation also offers handcrafted jewelry, purses and bookmarks created by Afghan women living in refugee camps in Pakistan. Zardozi is a registered Afghanistan non-governmental organization who employs over 1,500 female Afghan artisans. The income these artisans make allows them to support their children's education, purchase food and provide medical care for their families. For additional information - or to shop the wide array of products -- visit www.khaledhosseinifoundation.org/tkhf-products.htm.
For additional information on The Khaled Hosseini Foundation, visit www.khaledhosseinifoundation.org/
ABOUT KHALED HOSSEINI
Khaled Hosseini was born in Kabul, Afghanistan, in 1965. His father was a diplomat in the Afghan Foreign Ministry and his mother taught Farsi and history at a high school in Kabul. In 1976, the Foreign Ministry relocated the Hosseini family to Paris. They were ready to return to Kabul in 1980, but by then their homeland had witnessed a bloody communist coup and the invasion of the Soviet Army. The Hosseinis sought and were granted political asylum in the United States, and in September 1980 moved to San Jose, California. Hosseini graduated from high school in 1984 and enrolled at Santa Clara University, where he earned a bachelor's degree in biology in 1988. The following year he entered the University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine, where he earned a medical degree in 1993. He completed his residency at Cedars-Sinai medical center in Los Angeles and was a practicing internist between 1996 and 2004.
In March 2001, while practicing medicine, Hosseini began writing his first novel, The Kite Runner. Published by Riverhead Books in 2003, that debut went on to become an international bestseller and beloved classic, sold in at least seventy countries and spending more than a hundred weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. In May 2007, his second novel, A Thousand Splendid Suns, debuted at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list, remaining in that spot for fifteen weeks and nearly an entire year on the bestseller list. Together, the two books have sold more than 10 million copies in the United States and more than 38 million copies worldwide. The Kite Runner was adapted into a graphic novel of the same name in 2011. Hosseini's much-awaited third novel, And the Mountains Echoed, will be published on May 21, 2013.
In 2006, Hosseini was named a Goodwill Envoy to UNHCR, the United Nations Refugee Agency. Inspired by a trip he made to Afghanistan with the UNHCR, he later established The Khaled Hosseini Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, which provides humanitarian assistance to the people of Afghanistan. He lives in Northern California.
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