Tag Archives: TOI

Karim’s Story

I remember when I was 9 years old my father had a stroke and became disabled. It has been a very difficult time for our family. I had to stop going to school and I became the family’s breadwinner. Since I was too young to work in a serious job and there were not enough jobs for everyone, I just started to walk on the streets and do what other boys of my age did, collect trash. Did I like this job? No. None of the kids liked this job, but we had no choice. Everyday from 7AM to 7PM, I wandered around the dusty streets of Kabul collecting plastic bottles, papers, plastic bags, etc. I knocked on the doors of many houses to see if they had a trash for me. In one day, I would collect up to 15 barrows of trash, my income was about 2500AFNs/$. In the last couple of years, there were not enough trash for all trash collectors, since many Aid organizations have left, and many expat hotels were closed due to security. I would make only six or seven barrows of waste a day, which means less income. The money I made every day I spent for food and to cover rent of the land where our tent is set. I remember us living in the tent over last 13 years. Life in the tent is very difficult, it is dusty in the summer, and it is cold in the winter. Today we have 15 family members live in the tent, among which are small kids, most of us work, but we still do not have enough money to buy a house.

The money I made every day I spent for food and to cover rent of the land where our tent is set. I remember us living in the tent over last 13 years. Life in the tent is very difficult, it is dusty in the summer, and it is cold in the winter. Today we have 15 family members live in the tent, among which are small kids, most of us work, but we still do not have enough money to buy a house.

Garbage collecting is not a stable job. Among the businesses I collected trash from was the T-O-M main office. One-day the Job Placement program manager of T-O-M contacted me. He offered me a job working as a guard in one of the businesses in Kabul. In the beginning, I was worried that I would not be able to work because all I saw and all I did in the past 11 years is collecting trash. I was excited and at the same time, I was not sure if I would be qualified for this position. I like working as a guard because it is clean and I have a chance for improvement, even though it is a lot of responsibility.  Today I have a stable job and a good salary. Today I am proud of myself and grateful to the Job Placement program. This new job gave me hope for a better future. There are still many boys on the streets that  make a living out of the trash, and each of them dreams to have a better life. They are like me end up picking up trash because there was no choice. Therefore, I dream and wish that every person would have options and choices in their lives.

DIY Creations

Despite the dire situation in Afghanistan, good things are happening, and T-O-I is happy to be part of it. The goal of DIY Creations is to empower women by providing them with skills, a job, and a salary, which can all lead to startup businesses.  During the Taliban era girls were not allowed an education and as a result today most women over the age of 30 in Afghanistan have no education, no experience, and no skills to be able to provide an income for their families. T-O-I believes that DIY creations can help women of Afghanistan to believe in themselves, to embrace individuality, and to inspire confidence that they will pass to their children.  T-O-M, T-O-I’s Afghan affiliate, is happy to welcome nine women, widows and orphan girls, who have joined the DIY Creations program since it began in November 2015.

How DIY Creations is already making a difference.

Momubah is an Afghan woman with a disabled husband and 5 children. Momubah and her family had only 20Afs/$.30USD to their name. Momubah and her daughter had made dough for bread and gave that last 20Afs to a baker to bake the bread for them. She had no idea where the next money would come from as she had already borrowed a lot of money from her family and they had no more to give. That same day Momubah received a call from TOM inviting her to be a program participant for DIY Creations. Momubah entered the program the next day and starting making beaded necklace ID holders, and on her first day took home 400Afs/$6.02USD for her work. Over the course of her first week in DIY Creations, she made over 1,900Afs/$28.61USD.  Momubah has become a regular program participant for DIY Creations and her family is now able to eat, purchase fuel for heat, and help pay for her daughter’s university education.

To show support for Momubah and women like her you can purchase these handmade items or make a donation to the DIY Creations program.

Request info about items through email: hello@t-o-i.org

DIY Creations-Afghanistan

THE T-O-I Model

There are 5 key aspects to the T-O-I model of life development and life transformation:

  • Transition Homes for Orphan Graduates; giving them a safe environment to transition to responsible adult living, with mentors to guide them.
  • Vocational Skills Training; giving individual training to the most at-risk people, including widows and youth, to insure they have an opportunity to improve their livelihood.
  • Job Placement Assistance; preparing, assisting, and placing participants in sustainable job opportunities in their immediate communities.
  • DIY Creations; working with women who are not able to work outside the home to create “at home” income opportunities.
  • Social Entrepreneurship; working with the smallest business owners to help them improve their capacity, meet their goals, and improve their livelihood.

The T-O-I model is based on the belief that by meeting people where they are at, and helping them with their greatest needs, you build a meaningful long-term relationship, give them hope, and help them change their future.

T-O-I has a strong commitment to helping those people who are the most at risk.  Whether it is an orphan graduate, a widow trying to provide for her children, or a father trying to provide for his family, the spectrum of need can be found in the T-O-I model.  T-O-I has successfully put this model into practice under the most difficult circumstances.  Proving that long-term life transformation is possible if you are willing to meet people where they are at, get involved in their lives, and build a meaningful relationship.

Orphan Graduate Transition Homes – T-O-I recognizes that when orphans graduate from their orphanage they have very few options for a safe environment.  For this reason, T-O-I endeavors to provide a safe environment for them to continue a safe transition to self-sustainable independent adult living, with mentors, and access to T-O-I programs.

Vocational Skills Training – T-O-I recognizes that whether you are an 18-year-old orphan graduate, a young mother, or just have not had the opportunity to learn job skills; an opportunity to have practical job skills training can be the difference between just being able to survive and having hope for a brighter future.

Job Placement Assistance – T-O-I works with the most at risk people to help them find full and part time employment. This is about identifying skills, preparing participants for interviews, helping find job opportunities, and both short term and long term mentoring and guidance.   The goal is always long-term, sustainable, life changing livelihood improvement.

DIY Creations – T-O-I acknowledges that not every person can work outside the home. Many women are bound to the home to take care of children, or family members.  For this reason T-O-I works with these participants to provide “in home” opportunities for income through crafts, production, etc.  These opportunities provide income, hope, and a sense of worth for these women.

Social Entrepreneurship – T-O-I works with beneficiaries that have the skills and desire to start businesses and the smallest businesses at the bottom of the economic sector to help improve their capacity. This includes farming/agriculture, livestock, etc. from a holistic approach.  This assistance can come in many forms, from mentorship and training, to supplying livestock to help the business grow.

By working hand in hand with qualified participants to train them and help them start businesses T-O-M empowers people with hope and dignity.

T-O-I’s unique model is designed to reach those people most in need of assistance and to transform their lives. It is about the people, the relationships, giving them hope and investing in their lives.   This approach has produced amazing, life-changing, long-term transformation.

Vision, Mission & Core Values


We envision a world where the most at risk people have opportunity to raise themselves out of poverty in a dignified way.


The core mission of T-O-I is to provide sustainable, life changing, opportunities to the most at-risk people groups.  Meeting them at their greatest need, showing them opportunity, and being a catalyst to life changing transformation, hope, and a sustainable livelihood.

Core Values


To take responsibility means that you take the action necessary without waiting for someone else to tell you to do it.


Accountability means to be responsible for our daily work. If we do something wrong then we will personally be accountable for the mistake


A person shows respect to others in their words and actions.  A person gets respect by showing respect, not because of their position or title


Transparency means that everything you do, you can do in front of others as you have nothing to hide and no secrets.  You strive to always do what is right and admit when you are wrong


We must always work through difficult situations.  We know that through perseverance we will gain knowledge and understanding therefore, we will succeed.


We show compassion to those we serve, both clients and non-clients.  Compassion is the act of being kind and considerate, and showing concern and empathy for the well-being of others


Dedication is a person is willing to do whatever it takes to help another person, organization, or a cause they believe in.  They do so without asking or expecting any personal benefit in return.


To be helpful or useful to someone by giving them something that is needed or wanted.


Encouragement is to boost and motivate others; supporting them during difficult times or in difficult circumstances


By working together we can repair and transform the world.


Continually working to improve our skills, abilities, and program to meet the needs of the people we serve.