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Mariam Raqib

She is the founder and director of Afghanistan Samsortya, a nonprofit organization based in Massachusetts and Afghanistan that implements grassroots reforestation and orchard development programs in eastern Afghanistan. Samsortya is a Pashtu word which translates to "revitalization of the environment."Since its founding, Afghanistan Samsortya has planted more than one hundred thousand trees along the Afghan countryside, in a country that has experienced more than 40 years of war, poverty, and environmental degradation. The organization carries out its work by establishing and managing nurseries, cultivating saplings, distributing the sapling in the community, coordinating family gardens, and planting the trees in accordance to the need of the community. The wells in the nurseries are operated using solar energy and provide surrounding communities with clean drinking water.Afghanistan Samsortya’s work utilizes a comprehensive, community empowerment approach to carry out its work. Since its founding, the organization has developed a diverse and widespread network of partners in the community who play the primary role in the development and implementation of programs that work to establish food sovereignty and replant trees across the countryside. For example, in response to requests from its local partners, the organization recently incorporated a program to raise livestock and poultry to provide eggs, milk, and fertilizer to families in their communities.Mariam is currently developing an initiative to educate young women in the nursing and midwife fields in two provinces in Afghanistan. This initiative has further positive impacts on the health of the population.

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