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Beyond the 11th is a non-profit organization providing support to widows in Afghanistan who have been devastated by years of war, terrorism, and oppression. Co-founders Susan Retik and Patti Quigley were moved to action in the wake of September 11th, which claimed the lives of both of their husbands. Both pregnant and grieving, Susan and Patti were blessed with overwhelming support from their families and communities. As a window to Afghanistan opened up to the world, Susan and Patti were awakened to the vast disparity between the support they received and the cruel realities facing Afghan widows, and resolved to channel their grief towards empowering Afghan widows to realize a better future.


Beyond the 11th is a non-profit organization that provides support to widows in Afghanistan who have been affected by war, terrorism, and oppression.

We place a special emphasis on working with women and children, since socio-economic, cultural and legal conditions often favor men and exclude women and minors. Women can find themselves stripped of assets upon the dissolution of a marriage or the death of a spouse. Lack of access to, and use of, property such as land, leaves many widows extremely vulnerable and trapped in an ever-deepening cycle of poverty and powerlessness.

Beyond the 11th’s grants are geared toward programs that help widows gain the skills necessary to generate their own income. We believe strongly that this is the best way to create lasting social change.


Because the majority of Afghan women are illiterate
and unskilled, simple donations do not fully address
their needs. That’s why Beyond the 11th specifically
funds programs that offer Afghan widows a means for
continual income generation. These programs teach
women valuable skills while allowing them to work from
home and take care of their children. Today, Beyond
the 11th has granted more than $400,000 to non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and has helped over a thousand widows and their children.
Our funds directly support the following programs:
Arzu helps provide sustainable income to Afghan
widows by sourcing and selling their hand-made carpets. Arzu pays the women weavers 50% more than the market rate for their labor. The widows also receive a cash bonus in exchange for a commitment to attend literacy classes and to send their children to school.

CARE International’s Poultry Rearing Program
helps impoverished widows become self-sufficient
income earners by training them in small-scale poultry
farming techniques. Participating women are given 50
chicks, feed, use of an incubator and other start-up materials, as well as technical support to develop and run a small business. CARE’s HAWA project enables vulnerable widows to generate income by raising and managing livestock (cows and lambs). Livestock development is an ideal way for poor widows to generate income, as feed and other inputs are available and inexpensive, and milk products usually command competitive prices at the market. In addition, by-products like manure can be sold or used for kitchen gardens, and calves can be sold for profit.

Bpeace offers Afghan female entrepreneurs business
consulting, training, mentoring, networking opportunities, access to capital, and international markets for their goods and services. The most recent Beyond the 11th grant to Bpeace directly funded a soccer ball manufacturing business developed by three Afghan women. Manufacturing balls and other leather-made goods is an excellent income-generating opportunity for widows since it allows them to work at home while learning a marketable skill.


Beyond the 11th had made grants in excess of $400,000 and has helped over 1,000 widows and their children.


We hope to raise $100,000 so that we can continue to make a positive impact on the lives of Afghan widows.


Susan Retik


Jennifer Bennet - Jennifer has dedicated her career to organizations with a focus on social and economic justice. She is currently the Executive Director of The Family Van in Boston, MA

Shilpa Phadke - Shilpa is currently working for the Obama Administration in Homeland Security. Shilpa received her Bachelor’s of Arts in Philosophy from Boston College and a Master’s of Public Policy from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

Deborah Zalesne - Deborah is a tenured professor of law at the City University of New York School of Law where she teaches in the area of corporate and commercial law. She earned a B.A. degree from Williams College, a J.D. from the University of Denver College of Law, and an LL.M. from Temple Law School, where she was an Honorable Abraham L. Freedman Fellow. Prior to teaching, she practiced law with a firm in Denver, Colorado, and clerked for a Colorado Supreme Court Justice. She also served as an advisor to the Russian Commission on Securities and Exchanges, where she helped to draft sections of the Russian Corporate Code under a USAID grant, and was an advisor to the Women’s Legal Center in Cape Town, South Africa, where she reviewed drafts of Equality Legislation introduced to Parliament. She has published numerous articles on sexual harassment, gender discrimination and poverty law in such journals as the Harvard Women’s Law Review, Yale Journal of Law and Feminism, Women’s International Net, Temple Political and Civil Rights Law Review, and South African Journal on Human Rights.




PO Box 457
Needham, MA 02494-0004
Phone: (781) 465-6464
EIN: 56-2384970

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Give a Cow

Share of a cow

This gift will provide a widow a real chance to survive. The average income for a widow-headed household in Afghanistan is only $16/month - compared to $48/month for a men. Owning a cow that produces milk will not only give her family an income, on average $120/month, it gives them nutrition. In addition, the income will make it possible for her to send her children...


Help Afghan Widows

Tools to make balls

Your gift will provide an Afghan widow with all the tools she will need to manufacture soccer balls from her home. Ball manufacturing can truly improve the quality of an Afghan widow's life: * Many widows are not allowed to leave home; balls can be sewn at home. * The skills required for making balls are primarily sewing, building on traditional skills previously learned in...


Give a Cow

1 cow for a widow

This gift will provide a widow a real chance to survive. The average income for a widow-headed household in Afghanistan is only $16/month - compared to $48/month for a men. Owning a cow that produces milk will not only give her family an income, on average $120/month, it gives them nutrition. In addition, the income will make it possible for her to send her children...