2000-2002 - Breadwinner Books & the First Breaking Bread Dinners


The chapter network grows! Volunteer Chapters are operating in Calgary, Toronto, Waterloo, Vancouver, Montreal, Victoria, and Oakville.

Deborah Ellis donates her first royalties from her award-winning novel “The Breadwinner” to CW4WAfghan. Over the next two decades, Deborah’s five-book Breadwinner series resulted in an incredible $2.5 Million in royalties to support CW4WAfghan’s programs.

Taliban rule ends.

The Bonn Agreement in December 2001 leads to the establishment of an interim government. The education system has been decimated and a single teacher training college remains, serving males only. 


The Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission and the Ministry of Women’s Affairs are created. For the first time in Afghanistan’s history, a female presidential candidate, Massouda Jalal, campaigns for the presidency.

Susan Bellan of Ontario conceptualizes the Breaking Bread potluck dinner fundraising program to raise money to pay female teachers’ salaries in Afghanistan.  The first Breaking Bread dinner is hosted in Toronto in June 2002. Over the next two years, nearly 400 Breaking Bread dinners would be held, raising $500,000. To date, Breaking Bread events continue to be an integral community-building and fundraising event.

Women for Afghan Women Newsletter, March 2001.
Click here to read the PDF version of this newsletter.


Women for Women Afghanistan founders and chapters are awarded YMCA Calgary Peace Award, Canada Women of Influence initiative, and Lauryn Oates, volunteer Vancouver Chapter Founder and Chair, is recognized by Chatelaine Magazine as Woman of the Year.

These are the first of dozens of awards received by CW4WAfghan over the next two decades. Click here to see awards and recognition highlights.