Winter aid Bamiyan 2017
Winters in Afghanistan are freezing cold. In addition to life-threatening temperatures and heavy snowfall, people here also have to cope with food shortages due to drought. According to the UNHCR (2017/12), 2.6 million internally displaced persons find themselves in such a degrading situation.
Displaced or fleeing from conflicts or drought in their own country, they usually have no choice but to fight for survival in refugee camps in their thousands. They have to suffer the cold and sleep in tents at temperatures as low as -15 degrees Celsius, often without blankets or warm clothing. Due to the lack of job opportunities, people are barely able to find a way out of poverty. The wages for occasional work as a day laborer are simply not enough to feed their own families.
The days are getting shorter and the temperatures are dropping: winter is setting in. But in Afghanistan it is particularly merciless, as the prevailing continental climate makes for very long, icy winters with lots of precipitation.
In the heart of the country lies the province of Bamiyan, home to around 410,000 people who have to brave temperatures averaging -20°C and immense snowfall. The cold is particularly hard on the children, who have to make the 1.5-hour walk to school and home twice a day through ice and snow. A challenge for which they are not adequately equipped, leaving parents with a choice: Endangering the child’s health or canceling their school attendance. This decision should not have to be made, which is why we are once again collecting donations for our winter aid this year.
In our first phase, we provided 85 pupils with a clothing package consisting of shoes, a jacket, hat and scarf for €35 each. In the second implementation phase, thanks to your support, we were also able to provide the siblings (152 sisters and 109 brothers) with the same package. The clothing was purchased and distributed locally by our helpers.
By 31.12.2017, we had raised the incredible sum of €14,559.77, which enabled us to provide 346 children with warm winter clothing. Due to the favorable exchange rate, we managed with less money than calculated in the second implementation phase. The difference flows into our projects.