HELA means hope in Pashto, one of the national languages of Afghanistan. HELA aims to offer hope to the people of this war-ridden country through education. Projects include building a high school for girls and recruiting and training teachers, developing programs to promote computer training, critical thinking and English language training, and developing programs to educate mothers and children about health and nutrition.

HELA believes that hope comes from empowerment, and empowerment starts with the strength and confidence that come from a safe, complete education. HELA aims to give hope to the next generation, thereby improving their chances of helping their families thrive and their country progress.

HELA, a pending 501(c)(3), was founded with one overarching purpose: to help Afghan women. So far that simple thought has taken shape in three types of projects - provincial girls' schools, women's centers focusing on health and education, and playing fields for existing schools to help young Afghan women gain physical confidence. HELA's ongoing goal is to reach, empower and educate young Afghan women. Such education will offer them, and through them their country, a better future.

HELA owes its early success to the care and generosity of average Americans who are moved by the plight of their Afghan counterparts. Students from elementary school through college have been particularly motivated to help, which has been marvelously heartening. HELA is also committed to building bridges for Afghan youth to connect with American youth through education.