| Mission East
Noor Mohammad together with his son.
Noor Mohammad could not help laughing to himself when he heard that Mission East wanted to produce energy from cow dung.   Text and photos: Dhruva Majagaiyan, Health Coordinator, Mission East, Afghanistan "What a crazy idea, I thought," says the 50-year-old farmer Noor Mohammad, who did not have high expectations for Mission East’s pilot project. How could his cows’ droppings ever be something of value? Nevertheless, he agreed to be one of the two households in the village that would receive a small biogas plant as a trial for potential replication in future Mission East projects. The biogas...
Afghan beekeeper showing off hive
Excellent results with a beekeeping project in the Afghan province of Takhar encourages Mission East to take a step further to help its 50 apiculture beneficiaries create a business enterprise. By Namik Heydarov, Province Manager, Takhar Province The newly formed "Shohada Beekeeping and Agricultural Cooperative" will help beekeepers from the district of Chaal to market their honey both locally and in the district centre. In 2008, Mission East decided to help families in Chaal improve their poor diets and household food security as part of a large-scale rural assistance project. One of the...
Portrait of Benny Werge
53-year-old Benny Werge from Sorø in Denmark is new Country Director for Mission East’s biggest country programme, Afghanistan. Benny Werge is quite familiar with life as an expat, having lived in Africa for nine years with his wife and his two children; but in the past two years and three months he has developed a special relationship with Afghanistan. "In my experience, when the Afghans say that they want to do something to rebuild their country, they actually mean it," says Benny Werge, who worked as programme manager for another humanitarian organisation in Afghanistan until this New Year...
Children sitting at tables
The winter cold will soon be coming to Afghanistan. To a lot of schoolchildren, temperatures below 10 degrees means daily discomfort and the risk of getting seriously ill. They have to sit on the cold floor for several hours during classes.   The schools cannot afford basic equipment such as tables and chairs.  This affects the children’s health and their education in a country where approximately 70 percent of the population don’t know how to read and write. Masoud Mir Alam goes to school in north eastern Afghanistan. He remembers last winter clearly:“We all sat on the cold floor in the...
Ahmad Khan with his children and beehive
Both Sohaila Khan, 25, and Maa Begum, 50, lived in extreme poverty in northern Afghanistan. It was a constant struggle to feed themselves and their children. "There was no light at the end of the tunnel," says Sohaila.Until July 2006.   "We didn't even have a small piece of land where we could grow food for ourselves," says Maa Begum (bottom picture). For years her eldest son tried in vain to provide for nine family members with a monthly income of merely 54 dollars. He was the only one who was lucky enough to be able to find a job. A couple of months after Sohaila’s wedding, her husband,...
man on road in Afghanistan
Afghanistan has dropped one place in a UN study that ranks the population’s development in 178 countries worldwide. "Human Development Index" is based on values like income, life expectancy and literacy. The report was released on November 18th and shows that only four other countries (all of them located in Africa) ranks lower than Afghanistan. This makes Afghanistan the fifth least developed country in the world and the poorest in all of Asia. In 2004, the year of the first ever Human Development Index for Afghanistan, the country "only" ranked as the sixth least developed country. Among...
Mixed Pickle
The bags with dried squash, apricot, chilli and other products are all decorated with the Danish flag. A sticker tells people that the products are "Produced by a group of women from Baharak". We are at an Agricultural Fair in a great white tent in northern Afghanistan, organised by the Afghan Ministry of Agriculture. Here, Mission East has a stand where jars of cherry jam are displayed side by side with honey, pickled vegetables, and bags of dried apple. All the products have in common the fact that they are produced by poor men and women who all have received support from Mission East to...
Boy drinking water
It was a deeply touched Vice Managing Director who returned from a visit to Mission East’s projects in Afghanistan in July. Here Peter Samuelsen tells us more about his visit, and his encounter with a thirsty little boy.   By Peter Blum Samuelsen, Vice Managing Director in Mission East As I arrived at Kabul airport, there were medical helicopters with wounded soldiers sitting outside, waiting to be flown out for proper medical treatment. I felt the city was tense with weapons and security personnel. In Kabul I saw the Afghanistan that the worldwide media portrays; a country of war and...

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