Women’s Annex Foundation @ NYC Bitcoin Center: a Firsthand Look at Bitcoin Driving Positive Change in Afghanistan

On Monday Aug 4, 2014 the audience at the NYC Bitcoin Center were in awe of a very powerful presentation by the Women’s Annex Foundation. The organization’s mission is to empower women and children through digital literacy and in the regions where this is badly needed such as Afghanistan and Pakistan. The organization is expanding globally and is already making its presence felt in Egypt and Mexico.

For Women’s Annex, Bitcoin is more than just a means to receive donations; it is embedded in its fundamental purpose. We are talking about regions that do not have the same access to the banking system like in the West. Not only does using Bitcoin help prevent corruption in the formation of these centers, but it also allows the young users that generate amazing content to earn wealth and help support their families. Unlike most stories you hear about bitcoins being lost or stolen, if handled properly, it is hands down the safest way to store wealth because it cannot be confiscated nor will anyone know what you have unless you want them to.

There is another very powerful message that is spread with this organization as peaceful people and mutually beneficial technologies move forward. These young women and children will learn digital literacy and the power of crypto-currency in parallel.  They will NOT be scared to embrace a borderless medium of exchange that could have the power to end wars. And these are the regions that perhaps need this balance the most.

We sat down with the Co-Founders after the presentation for a few questions about their experiences with Bitcoin and its effects within their foundation.  You can also find a great interview by Nicolas Cary (CEO of Blockchain.info) on their website.

Roya Mahboob – is a member of the 2013 Time 100 Most Influential People in the world. She is also the Founder and CEO of Afghan Citadel Software Company. Her goal is to be a role model for Afghan women and motivate them to start their own technology companies where everyone would have a better future. Roya holds a Bachelors Degree in Computer Science and is currently studying Information Technology at the World Wide Science Academy in Malaysia.

Fereshteh Forough - grew up in Iran as an Afghan refugee before returning to her native land in 2002 where she started teaching English to girls at the Afghan Youth Association.  She later went to earn a Bachelors Degree in Computer Science and a Masters in Information Management Systems. In 2013, Fereshteh got a chance to tell her life story and talk about the importance of technology, education and social media at the New York TED Talks.

Cointelegraph: Can you describe your experiences of using or converting bitcoins in Afghanistan?<