| Mission East
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...
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...
The Maid Started her Own Shop
Every day was a struggle against hunger for the 50-year-old widow Majabin and her five children. With help from Mission East, she has now started her own small food business. Around 0.70 Euro per day and a single meal is what Afghan Majabin was paid to work as a maid in the house next door. It was not enough to buy food for her five children, all of whom suffered from skin diseases, had protruding ribs and constant stomach-aches because of malnutrition. War Widow Majabin’s husband was killed in the war many years ago, and the family has since lived a life in poverty in a hut on a small piece...
Zarifah has seen how hygiene has improved her children's health
When Zarifah had to flee her village, there was no money for medicine and doctor’s visits when the children were sick. Mission East gave her a chance to improve her own and her family's health. Zarifah is the mother of three and lives in a camp for internally displaced people (IDPs) in the northern province of Badakhshan in Afghanistan. Zarifah was forced to flee her home district as the situation became too dangerous for the family. Her husband is the only one in the family who has a job, but since it is only causal, it is extremely difficult for the family to survive. Sometimes bread and...
Dost Mohammad and Golshihra from Afghanistan.
When Dost Mohammad first heard about Mission East gardening project for women, he was against letting his wife Golshihra participate.  Now the kitchen garden is the family's pride. When you talk with Afghan Dost Mohammad about the teaching of improved vegetable gardens and preserving of vegetables for poor village women, he is all smiles: "I 'm really happy about all the positive changes that the teaching has given my wife and our entire family. In the past we lacked food every winter, especially in January and February, but that is no longer the case. " Initially, Dost Mohammad had a...

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