Eight local businesswomen have handed over a cheque for $52,366 to support families in Afghanistan displaced by the country's ongoing humanitarian crisis.
After witnessing chaotic scenes unfold in Afghanistan, Cathryn Cocker, Tracey Bagger, Monica Plunkett, Tameeka Lynch, Jodie Walker, Jess Sattler, Michelle Williams and Lindi McMahon chose to act.
The eight businesswomen formed a committee and organised a long table lunch to raise money for Mahboba's Promise, an NGO working in Afghanistan supporting 900 families in the Kabul region.
Committee member Michelle Williams said the response from the community was more than she expected, with the event's takings eclipsing the original target.
"The initial figures we were throwing around was $20,000 to $30,000, but as momentum built up we pushed that target a little bit higher,'' she said.
"On the day we decided we really wanted to reach that $50,000 and we exceeded that."
The final figure of $52,366 was raised through a combination of ticket sales, donations and a silent auction with prizes donated by local businesses.
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The cheque destined for Afghanistan was accepted by Afghani woman Asiyeh Heidari, who spoke at last month's event at Alida Restaurant.
Ms Heidari said she was overcome with gratitude when she saw how much the event had raised.
She said for the community to come together and raise more than $50,000 for complete strangers on the other side of the world highlighted the significance of what was happening in Afghanistan.
"They understand the situation for the women in Afghanistan and although they haven't been in that situation themselves they know it's important to try and help," she said.
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Ms Williams said the committee had not advised Mahboba's Promise of the updated figure but would be handing over the funds in the coming days.
"They know we hope to raise somewhere around $30,000 and were ecstatic with that figure, so I think they're gonna be pretty excited when they receive this cheque," she said.
She said the committee would continue to work with the local Afghan community and would be following up with the NGO to ensure the funds were being put to good use.
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