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The Independence Fund Partners with the Embassy of Afghanistan to Host Event for Children of American Veterans of Afghanistan and Children of Afghans Living in the United States

WASHINGTON, Jan. 13, 2020 /PRNewswire/ --

(PRNewsfoto/The Independence Fund)


Saturday, January 18, 2020

WHERE: Embassy of Afghanistan

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WHAT: The Independence Fund and the Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan will partner to host an event that celebrates the continued relationship between and The Afghan Mission to the United States, Ambassador Roya Rahmani  and the non-profit Veterans organization. The reception is centered around the children of American Veterans of Afghanistan and children of Afghan citizens residing in the U.S. finding commonality through shared experiences and a story many of them are familiar with in their own home. 

Sarah Verardo, CEO of The Independence Fund, will share with the children her book, "Hero at Home," a children's book about growing up with a parent who is a catastrophically wounded Veteran and has a "Robot Leg" as Sarah's children's classmates put it.

Also in attendance will be several Veterans of the war in Afghanistan along with their families, Gold Star Families, members of the Afghan mission with their families, Afghan translators who have received American visas, Afghan diaspora and senior staff members of the Department of Veterans Affairs, the White House, media figures and other Veteran Service Organizations. 

"We know that for Veterans who served and sacrificed in Afghanistan, and families who lost loved ones there, or to battles at home, Afghanistan will be where many of our Nation's best left pieces of themselves - both physically and emotionally. We are so honored to have this incredible relationship with the Embassy and Ambassador Rahmani; the commitment and partnership between both nations to saluting and honoring Veterans continues to help heal the visible and invisible wounds of war," said The Independence Fund CEO Sarah Verardo.


H.E. Roya Rahmani is the first woman ambassador of Afghanistan to the United States of America. She assumed this position on December 14, 2018. Prior to this, she served as Afghanistan's first woman ambassador to Indonesia and the country's first accredited ambassador to the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN). During her tenure in Indonesia, she was also accredited as Afghanistan's non-resident ambassador to Singapore.

During her posting in Indonesia, the Afghan and Indonesian bilateral relationship soared to its highest since its inception in 1954. Now, Indonesia and Afghanistan have close cooperation in various areas including economics, cultural, and promoting peace and tolerance from the Islamic perspective.

H.E. Roya Rahmani joined MoFa as a Senior Advisor to the Deputy Foreign Minister in 2011. From 2012-2016, Ambassador Rahmani served as the first Director General for Regional Cooperation at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Afghanistan (MoFA) during which she was responsible for leading her team to manage and promote the country's role and position in dozens of regional organizations and fora. In addition, Rahmani spearheaded the Heart of Asia-Istanbul Process at MoFA where she played a key role in the conception and launch of the regional cooperation process.

Ambassador Rahmani started her official work with the Afghan government at the Ministry of Education of Afghanistan, as a senior advisor for Planning and Policy in early 2011. Prior to this, she directed and managed various organizations and programs at national and international levels. From 2009-2011, she managed a program implemented in 11 countries that promoted women's empowerment. She worked as a part-time Subject Matter Expert with the NATO Joint Forces Training Center for two years and as a consultant with: the New York Department of Education, the United Nations Secretariat in New York, the Department of Trade and International Affairs of Canada, Canadian Women for Women in Afghanistan, Women Living under Muslim Laws and other INGOs.

From 2004 – 2007, H.E. Roya Rahmani worked as the Country Director of the International Center for Human Rights and Democratic Development organization in Kabul and traveled around Afghanistan. In 2007, she was awarded the Best Human Rights Activist Award by Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission, for her work on a marriage document that secured equitable rights for the family and contributed to data collection at a national level.

Rahmani holds a Master's degree in Public Administration from Columbia University and a Bachelor of Software Engineering from McGill University. She has won several awards and fellowships and is a Fulbright Scholar. Rahmani served as a member of the board of directors of many organizations, is a Musawah Advocate and a member of Munich Security Conference Young Leaders. H.E. Roya Rahmani has been featured by numerous international media and was named the People's Ambassador in 2017 by the Tattler Indonesia. She was born in 1978 in Kabul, Afghanistan in a middle-class family, is married and has one daughter named Bareen.


Sarah Verardo is a national advocate for wounded Veterans and their Caregivers. Her husband Michael was catastrophically wounded in Afghanistan in 2010, in two separate IED attacks that took his left leg, much of his left arm, and left him with polytraumatic conditions that have required more than one hundred surgeries and years of speech, visual, physical and occupational therapies.

Starting as a volunteer with The Independence Fund, Sarah's steadfast devotion, experience, and drive led to her eventual selection as the organization's first Chief Executive Officer. Sarah continues carrying on the legacy of The Independence Fund's founder by providing all-terrain track wheelchairs to Veterans and has provided over 2,400 chairs to date. She also created the nonprofit's Caregiver, Family, Adaptive Sports, and Advocacy programs, and recently developed a partnership with the Department of Veterans Affairs that will combat Veteran Suicide through reunions of some of the hardest hit units of the War on Terror. This revolutionary program, Operation RESILIENCY, works with VA and DOD to recall units for peer support, relying on bonds formed during war and keeping the commitment of shared experience and brotherhood alive back home.

Sarah advises Administration officials and members of Congress on the experiences of the families of our severely wounded Veterans and has been instrumental in shaping national policy for our warfighters and their families. Regularly appearing on cable news to commentate on the sacrifice of Veterans and Military families, Sarah is a respected subject matter expert in the field.


Established in 2007, The Independence Fund is a national Veterans Service Organization dedicated to meeting the unmet needs of catastrophically wounded Veterans, Caregivers and their families through a variety of programs. To learn more, visit www.independencefund.org.


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SOURCE The Independence Fund