Inspired by a gap year working in rural India, Dr Sarah Fane decided to switch from her degree course in French and Latin to study Medicine at Bristol University. Her Elective, in 1987, was spent in the North West Frontier Province of Pakistan, working with an Obstetrician in an area with one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the world. Once qualified, she returned to Pakistan, and worked from a Mujahideen camp on the border with Afghanistan, during the height of the Soviet Afghan war, running clinics for female refugees.
In 2001 she was asked to travel to Afghanistan, which was in the grip of the Taliban regime, to assess a mother and child clinic. The visit and the people she met inspired her to set up Afghan Connection in 2002.
The charity has supported health, education and sport in Afghanistan and has funded construction of 46 schools for more than 75,000 children. It has linked thousands of European children with children in Afghanistan through a twin school project. Currently Afghan Connection is supporting education in Takhar Province and runs cricket projects backed by the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC). Sarah was made an Honorary Life Member of the MCC in 2012 and received an OBE in 2013, in recognition of the Charity’s work in Afghanistan.