AND CLOTHING PROJECT 2003 ARYA/YCDP
Because of the 23 years of war and unrest in Afghanistan, its people have had
to endure great hardships. Gunfire, bombings, lack of shelter, food, medicine,
and genocide are just some of the daily tribulations of the Afghan people. Many
families have lost fathers, mothers, sons, and/or daughters as a direct result
of the wars. It is very difficult for a family to survive, and it is almost impossible
for widows and orphans. The Youth and Children Development Program in Afghanistan
has been working with ARYA in the U.S. to provide much needed blankets and clothing
for the orphans and widows of Afghanistan.
The implementing team of YCDP was given
this project by YCDP and ARYA on the 7th of January 2003. The team consisted
of the representative of ARYA, Suraya
Mahboub, Dr. Najib Paikan and Said Jalal from YCDP. They started the project
on the 8th of January.
For two days the team went to survey the orphanages
in Kabul. They concluded that there were more orphanages than we
the money to help. For this reason
and because the orphanages in Kabul were given some help from the government
and other agencies in the capital city, permission was obtained through ARYA
and YCDP to move the project to the north of Kabul to Kapisa and Parwan provinces.
Kapisa and Parwan were chosen because during the 23 years of war and especially
the last 7 years these provinces have been the front lines of defense against
the Russians and the Taliban. As a result, there are many widows and orphans
in these areas. On January 9th the team went to survey the orphanage in Charikar,
Parwan province. In that particular orphanage, there were more than 100 children,
girls and boys, living in very bad conditions without heat in the building
or proper clothing. We asked a boy, Shadab, how he came to the orphanage.
that the Taliban killed his mother and father and since they did not have
anyone to take care of them, a friend of the family brought him
and his younger sister to this orphanage. Shadab wore torn clothes
said that he was cold especially because they
had nothing in the orphanage to heat the rooms. All of the children
in this orphanage complained of cold weather, lack of medicine,
lack of decent housing and insects like scorpions. The task team
interviewed the head of the orphanage and inspected the building.
On the 10th of January, the implementing team went
to Kapisa. There they found the orphanage in very bad shape and
yet housing more
than 200 children. After
meeting with the head of the orphanage, Mr. Nadir, and having visited the
orphanage in Parwan the team realized that the Kapisa orphanage
ranked the lowest. The
children were cold and did not have enough blankets or clothing to cover
them, nor did they have enough to eat or materials for burning for
heat. The team
made their decision to help the two orphanages and went on to Kabul to plan
the rest of the work. The decision was made to include the inhabitants of
Parwan and Kapisa and do this project with their involvement and
The project plan included purchasing the materials
from the local province markets and then surveying the widows in
Kapisa to determine the
extent of need. The number of blankets and clothes given to each widow
to make was based on individual need with the finished products
given to the
On January 11th the raw material, fabric, cotton,
needles, thread and such was purchased. The items were 612 meters
for boys clothing, 216
meters of fabric for girls clothing, 1400 meters of fabric for the blanket
700 kg of cotton, thread, buttons and etc. On the 12th January, two people
were hired to weigh, cut and distribute the materials. The widows were
given clothing and a number of blankets to make along with needles, thread
etc. For every piece of clothing, they were paid 100 Afghanis and for
80 Afghanis. It took about 15 days for all the clothing and the blankets
to be completed. This project helped more than 120 widows who were provided
with a means of survival at least for a while.
On January 26th the
team went to check the orphanages and to get ready for the distribution
of the blankets and the clothes. On January 28th a big ceremony
was held in the city of Charikar which included the people of the village,
the governor and other important people from the Parwan province. This orphanage
was given 69 pieces of boys clothes, 13 pieces of girls clothes and 74 blankets.
The children of the orphanage, the people and the government officials were
all very happy. The children of the orphanage sang a chorus and the officials
spoke of their appreciation of how our project included diverse members of
the city. The project not only provided the means for the widows to earn
some money and self-respect, but also made the children aware that
there are people
far away that think about them and in doing so made a bond between the people
who care and the people who need the care.
On January 29th the distribution
continued in the orphanage of Kapisa province. A ceremony was
prepared by the people of the city and the officials of the
province. The ceremony started with a chorus by the orphans followed by
speeches expressing appreciation of the project for helping the
widows and orphans.
In this particular orphanage we distributed 135 pieces of boys clothes,
59 pieces of girls clothes and 75 blankets.
On January 30th we also
distributed 31 blankets to an orphanage in the 7th division of
Kabul in the presence of the head of the orphanage and
in charge of the 7th division of Kabul. We had previously determined
that this orphanage was the poorest and most in need of help in
the Kabul area.
This report is a compilation of all the information
gathered from the various people who were involved in this project.