The Pink Shuttle in the streets of Kabul

MILAN — OTB Foundation is supporting the fight for women’s empowerment in Afghanistan.

The charity organization, established in 2008 by OTB founder Renzo Rosso, is backing not-for-profit association Nove Onlus in the development of a special project aimed at improving the life condition of Kabul’s women, giving them more freedom and independence.

Called Pink Shuttle, the program, which is also financed by the U.S. Agency for International Development, offers women public transportation with shuttles driven exclusively by women in the streets of Kabul. In the Afghan city, following the fall of the Taliban regimen 18 years ago, only 3,000 women were actually able to get a driving license.

The project’s pilot phase will run until the end of March and is expected to benefit about 100 regular users.

“The main reason behind OTB Foundation’s decision to support Pink Shuttle, which was one of the best projects presented to the call we launched a year ago, is because of its specific goal: women’s empowerment, a theme we have always treated with particular attention,” said OTB Foundation vice president Arianna Alessi. “The innovative and ambitious intent of this project actually pushed the foundation to give a concrete contribution to the development of this women-dedicated mobility service, which is the first and only in that area. I really hope that this initiative will be able to bring attention to the life conditions of so many women who, on the eve of 2020, still have to deal with huge restrictions on their individual freedom.”

The Pink Shuttle in the streets of Kabul

The Pink Shuttle in the streets of Kabul.  Courtesy Photo

Nove Onlus, which in the past developed another project in Kabul enabling 195 women to get a driving license for free, aims to turn the Pink Shuttle charity initiative into an actual commercial service, managed by women in Afghanistan.

“The Pink Shuttle service is currently free but we plan, if it continues to grow and if our partners keep supporting us in the future, to turn it into the first women-only small Afghan transportation company,” said Nove Onlus president Susanna Fioretti. “We really hope this project will become an Afghan project, desired and supported by the local population.”

Since its establishment in 2008, OTB Foundation has supported about 200 international projects focused on social development with an impact on the life of 200,000 people.

Among the most recent initiatives, the organization donated 200,000 euros earlier this year to fund six projects launched by Italian nonprofits destined to disadvantaged youth and communities or groups.

As reported last year, the OTB Foundation also supported the charity music event That’s Live 2018 in Florence, where Courtney Love performed as special guest. Further strengthening its bond with music, the organization also joined forces with the Andrea Bocelli Foundation inaugurating a middle school complex in Sarnano, a medieval village in Italy’s Marche region, which was hit by a 6.6-magnitude earthquake in August 2016. The project was financed by the two charity institutions, which organized several fund-raising activities, including the “Andrea Bocelli Night” event hosted at Rome’s Colosseum and Diesel’s “Customized With Love” charity project.

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