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The villagers took part in building the walls that now protect them and their crops against floods. Photo: Mission East Afghanistan
A village in northwestern Afghanistan used to be hard hit by floods that washed out crops as well as houses. Then Mission East helped the villagers build three protection walls to divert the water. By Eng Habib og Nadir Faez, Mission East Afghanistan. Edited by Kim Wiesener, July 3 2017 Mohammad Nadir remembers his childhood in Malikha-e-Khetayan. The village near the Taloqan River in northwestern Afghanistan was surrounded by green fields, the hills nearby were full of trees and bushes, and the area was home to a variety of wild animals. Four decades later, the area looked much less...
The forms for the bio-briquettes are handmade by local craftsmen.
In a remote mountain village in northeastern Afghanistan Mission East is teaching local women to make biological fuel by using cheap and available natural resources. By Kim Wiesener and Line Højland, Communications Officers Place some weeds and leaves in a 90 centimetres deep pit. Burn them carefully, take the semi-burned items out of the pit, mix them with soil and some water and shape them into round briquettes using a metal form. In several Afghan households, such bio-briquettes have replaced firewood as the preferred form of fuel, thanks to a Mission East project in a remote village in...
In the food groups, the women learn to preserve food in a secure and efficient way, which will make it last through the winter. Photo: Mission East
Many families in Afghanistan go to bed hungry. Mission East is training women to support themselves and their families. Sayerah, a 35-year old Afghan woman, remembers with horror the time before she started her own small business. “It was so awful and scary. My husband is a day labourer, but often there was no work, and it was difficult for us to get just one decent meal a day for our nine children,” she says. Sayerah could only dream of winter clothes and other necessities. High child mortality Sayerah lives with her family in Badakhshan in Northern Afghanistan. Life in the high mountains is...
Afghanistan, 2001. Ruth Dyer of Mission East met Fatima and her children in an IDP camp in Afghanistan in 2001, not long after an international presence became possible. The previous winter, Fatima had lost three children. Photo: Ruth Dyer.
In October 2001, US and British Forces invaded Afghanistan and deposed the Taliban regime from power. This opened the door for international aid to the severely tested Afghan population, and Mission East started providing food aid that same winter. By Line Højland, Communications Officer ”Three of Fatima’s children died last winter. Will the three others survive this one?” Ruth Dyer of Mission East asked this question in October 2001 during a visit to war torn Afghanistan. That same month, allied forces had deposed the Taliban regime from power. The conflict had displaced millions of people...
With safe drinking water now available at the school, class attendance has risen to almost 100 per cent.
Dehydration, abdominal pains and diarrhea were some of the many problems faced by pupils at a girls’ primary school in Rustaq district. With a new water scheme provided by Mission East the students no longer have to suffer from stomach disease and attendance has increased to nearly 100 per cent. A girls’ primary school in Rustaq district of Takhar Province used to face many problems in providing safe drinking water to its pupils. Only a few had the option of bringing bottles of water from home. If students did not go home, they were forced to drink contaminated water from unprotected sources...
Zarifahs children no longer suffer from dysentery after they have begun washing their hands after using the toilet.
People living in camps for the internally displaced face severe health and hygiene problems. With simple hygiene training, Zarifah has now secured her three children against infectious disease. Zarifah and her husband have been living with their three young children in a camp in Baharak district since they had to flee their home in Badakhshan during fierce fighting in the Warduj district. The family’s income is meagre, and they live from what the husband earns by selling bread outside the camp and by doing daily wage labour whenever possible. Due to the unhygienic conditions in the camp...
Women are ensured livelihood through the Self-Help-Groups established by Mission East.
Mission East’s work in making sure no one is left behind in humanitarian aid is featured in the official World Humanitarian Summit publication ‘Together We Stand’.     An article on inclusive programming, written jointly with the EU-CORD network, features our work in Afghanistan.  It explains how Mission East uses special approaches including Self-Help Groups to make sure that women are supported to improved their livelihoods assistance, despite traditional negative perceptions about women’s roles.  ‘Reaching the most vulnerable is an essential part of Mission East’s way of work’, says Joohi...
At least 20 families have built winter green houses and especially the children benefit from this as they need nutritious food to grow.
Mohammad Sharif and his family used to be fearful of the three months of cold and severe winter in the Afghan mountains where they live. But with knowledge about effective methods for vegetable cultivation gained from Mission East, the family can now enjoy a balanced diet – also during winter. The village is located in the barren mountains of the Badakhshan Province in northern Afghanistan. Here Mohammad Sharif lives with his family. The 54-year-old father is a tenant farmer, and until recently the 18-member family lived off the meagre amount of wheat he and his brother could cultivate on a...

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