Upcoming Mission to Afghanistan!
We all watched in horror more than fifteen years ago as terrorist attacks toppled the World Trade Center Towers and sent shockwaves through the US. In the months and years that followed, every household became familiar with Afghanistan. Suddenly, words like “Taliban” were everywhere and places such as Kabul and Kandahar were regularly featured in the news.
And then, Osama bin Laden was found. Suddenly, the hunt for bin Laden was over and, for most of the western world, so too was the story in Afghanistan. We found our man. We had our closure. All’s well that ends well, right?
What many people fail to understand is that the turmoil in Afghanistan reaches back much further than our own story. In fact, western interest in Afghanistan was primarily linked to the possibility that bin Laden might be hiding there. Yet, the extremist government under the Taliban had been wreaking havoc in Afghanistan long before our collective eyes looked that way. Sadly, the damage done continues to create ripples today.
According to Amnesty International, more than 1.2 million people are displaced within Afghanistan. This number does not include those Afghanis who are externally displaced, meaning those who have fled the country for Pakistan, Iran, the US, Canada and beyond. A significant number of those internally displaced are children.
Some internally displaced children are with families in camps. The conditions in these camps are woefully inadequate. However, these children at least have their families and support systems. Many many more children, on the other hand, have no one. These children wander from village to village seeking shelter. They receive little to no education, no supervision, little or no health care and little food security.
It is these children especially whom Global Roots seeks to help. For many years already, Global Roots has been operating in the Badakhshan region of Afghanistan. Our local children’s garden program has created a greenhouse garden, as well as rabbit hutches and hen houses, from which orphaned children can collect food and meals. Additionally, the excess produce is provided to children to give to foster families. The guarantee of food security is incentive for local families who otherwise could not afford to care for additional children to take in our Global Roots children.
Our program has been incredibly successful and many children have already benefitted. They are healthier, happier and able to regularly attend school. So now we would like to expand our reach. We are currently breaking ground into programs in Faizabad.
Unfortunately, Afghanistan is once again in the news. Recently, attacks and fights have sprung up around the country. This past year our local area manager, Janagha, was able to save our children at the last minute as invading militia approached.
But the area is not without tragedy. Attacks continue. This past week, a suicide bomb detonated in Kabul and claimed the lives of at least 90 people. As the chaos continues, more children are left to suffer.
So Global Roots executive director, Rick Montgomery is heading to Afghanistan to get a first hand account of what is needed there to protect these children. Rick will be leaving July 8th. The mission now has a dedicated blog, Badakhshan or Bust
, where you can follow along with Rick’s mission updates!