Afghanistan Samsortya is a non-profit organization currently operating in Eastern Afghanistan.
The word Samsortya means “revitalization.” We are a grassroots organization supported by the local population. We remain committed to our people-centered mission: development of programs that realistically meet the needs of often ignored populations in ways that are sustainable for future generations. In the past three decades, an estimated 60 to 80 percent of Afghanistan’s land resource has been lost—forests stripped, irrigation systems destroyed, and farmlands abandoned. We at Afghanistan Samsortya determined to help restore the region’s woodlands and ground water. We are helping the local community to plant and care for the trees, while at the same time encouraging them to a more fulfilling life and a more self-sufficient, independent and enduring community. At Afghanistan Samsortya, we directly address the challenges of environmental degradation, with the recognition that a healthy environment is crucial for economic and social well-being.
Dr. Mariam Raqib- Executive Director
Dr. Raqib was born and raised in Eastern Afghanistan, and came to the United States as a refugee in the 1980’s during the height of violent conflict in Afghanistan. She received a Bachelors in International Studies and Religion from Wells College, and a Masters and PhD from Northeastern University. Dr. Raqib founded Afghanistan Samsortya in 2008 after visiting her home country for the first time in several decades and seeing the environmental devastation that was wrought by almost four decades of war. Over a decade later, Afghanistan Samsortya’s impact on families and children has grown exponentially in communities where Dr. Raqib herself once lived as a child. She now lives in Massachusetts and spends her time giving lectures at universities and organizations about Samsortya’s work and their community-based initiatives in Afghan villages.
Eleanor Murphy- Director of Programs
Eleanor Murphy began her partnership with Dr. Raqib in 2015 after attending the organization’s annual fall fundraising dinner. A former student of Dr. Raqib’s, she became involved in the work after learning about Afghanistan’s near-total deforestation and the failures of large scale international aid in reversing it. Since then, Eleanor has been outspoken about the effectiveness of community-based environmental and social programs. In 2017, she became the Director of Programs and works closely with Dr. Raqib to shape Samsortya’s future initiatives in women’s education, agriculture, and community development. She lives in New Jersey with her husband and family.