Kahrizak first Iranian NGO okayed by U.S.
was founded in 1971 by the late Dr. Mohammad Reza Hakimzadeh in a small,
dilapidated house in southern Tehran. Elderly individuals and physically
handicapped patients whose families were no longer able to take care of
them were taken into residence. An institution that started with only one
patient and one room has grown to a 1600 bed center, the like of which
does not exist anywhere in the world. Kahrizak is a private, non-profit,
charitable organization. As such, it is the only organization for elderly
and physically handicapped individuals who have no financial resources
to support themselves.
Kahrizak has blossomed into a city within a city, in spite of hardship
among the selfless and generous people of Iran imposed by revolution and
war. Kahrizak cares for its patients in a very personal and dignified manner,
in modern, pristine and spacious units surrounded by green lawns, flower
gardens, pools and fountains. Nurses, doctors, dentists, pharmacists, physical
therapists and other personnel work diligently to maintain the high standards
of care set by the founding members of this prestigious organization. Some
of these professionals donate their services and others are paid employees.
There are workshops available for those individuals who are able to work,
in carpet weaving, sewing and handicraft of various types. In fact, Kahrizak
has become the major manufacturer of gowns, overalls and lab coats, for
use by schools and hospitals throughout Teheran.
Kahrizak has built on-campus housing for some of its personnel, and
a few of the handicapped patients who are married. Furthermore, schools
from kindergarten to high school have been built for children of employees,
patients and neighboring residents of the area. An out-patient medical
facility has also been built and placed in service. A beautiful mosque
and a state-of-art library are also on campus for use by the patients.
The Ladies Charitable Society (Gorooh-e Banovan-e Nikookar) has been
an integral part of Kahrizak since its inception. It has provided much
needed support and guidance in various areas in addition to organizing
frequent fund raising events. In the last several years, fund raising activities
have also taken place outside Iran, in London, Los Angeles, San Jose and
Toronto. The Society's efforts, in aiding victims of recent earthquakes
(in Iran), has been well documented and warmly acknowledged by the United
Nations. The Ladies Charitable Society has been recognized as a non-governmental
agency (NGO) by the United Nations. In October 1999 The Ladies Charitable
Society organized the first International Conference on Aging in Teheran,
a conference sponsored by The United Nations. There were over 90 papers
presented by a panel of Iranian and international speakers.
Kahrizak's budget for 1999 was $3.8 million, 82% of which was from charitable
donations by individual benevolent donors and 17% from banks, insurance
agencies and government departments. The cost of care per patient was about
$225 per month -- or about $7.50 per day per patient. Approximately 50%
of this was spent on salaries of the more than 700 paid employees.
Kahrizak Foundation, a California tax-exempt corporation, was created
to co-ordinate the activities of Kahrizak and the Ladies Charitable Society
in the United States. Authorization has been obtained from the Department
of Treasury to transfer donated funds from Kahrizak Foundation's account
in the U.S. to Kahrizak in Iran. It is believed that Kahrizak is the first
non-governmental organization (NGO) from the Middle East to have obtained
such authorization, in the face of prohibition placed for all transactions
between the U.S. and Iran.
The Ladies Charitable Society collects donations and holds fundraising
events in October and March of every year. If you would like to help your
fellow countrymen by making a donation, this would be a good time to do
so. Remember, we are all from the same "ab-o khak" and those
of us who are as successful as many of us are today can perhaps lend a
helping hand to their fellow Iranians who may not be as lucky.
Please send your checks to the attention of "Kahrizak Foundation"
at the address listed below. Although a receipt will be mailed to you for
tax deduction, please make a photocopy of your check for your records.
PO Box 2911 Cupertino, CA 95015-2911
Tel: (408) 996-7074