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Winters in Afghanistan are freezing cold. People do not only have to cope with live-threatening temperatures and strong snowfall but also with droughts and food shortages. According to the UNHCR (2017/12), around 2.6 million internally displaced persons suffer this degrading situation.
Displaced or fled from conflicts or droughts in their own country, they often have no other possibility but to fight for their survival in crowded refugee camps by the thousands. They suffer from extreme cold of up to -15° C ( 5° F), even have to sleep in tents during strong snowfalls and often lack blankets or warm clothing. As they do not have any opportunities to find a job there, they neither have the opportunity to escape poverty. The pay for occasional jobs as day-laborers is not enough to support their family.
In the center of the country is the province of Bamyan, cultural center of the ethnic group of the Hazara and home for about 410000 people. The city of Bamyan is known for its Buddha statues, which were carved into the sides of a cliff in the Bamyan valley. In winter, the people face temperatures of -20° C (-4° F) and extremely strong snowfall, making their lives even more difficult. Despite the long and hard winter, many of them live in caves around Bamyan. As there is not much farmland, we meet extreme poverty. Thus, the aim of the campaign was to support the families in the caves of Bamyan.
The realization of the campaign was organized with the help of a honorary member in Bamyan, who is very well connected there. Our help was to hand out a warm winter jacket, a pullover and a pair of shoes to each family member. One package contained enough for a family of five and cost about € 100. These warm and durable goods can be used several years and thus offer a long and effective relief. The need of each family ( size of clothes and shoes) was noted in Bamyan, then the clothes were – due to better quality and lower prices – bought in Kabul and brought to Bamyan. Finally, the goods were distributed to the families. 45 packages for the amount of € 4500 could help 45 families.