Our food aid project was launched in August 2021 to counteract the devastating situation of the population in Afghanistan due to the takeover of the Taliban. Intended as a quick emergency aid to bridge the gap until the fronts are cleared, it became a longer project thanks to your donations.
Since then, we have been able to reach over 550 families with the packages.
Difficulties due to the change of authorities led to delays in the distributions. Unrestricted self-determination was important to us from the beginning, but was not directly in the interest of the Taliban. Many discussions were held with representatives of the new government, permits had to be obtained, and persuasion was needed. We achieved a capacity of 150 distributions per month.
Our students and former students were the first to benefit, as they were forced to stop working. Thus, they were able to at least keep their families heads above water with the aid package. Other packages went to selected families, the delivery was strictly recorded and controlled. Both the personal information and a fingerprint were recorded – in the data protection country Germany something like this would probably be rather difficult 😉 But in this way we could guarantee that there were no repetitions in the distribution and that there was no fraud.
Mr. Massoud Hotak was our representative and confidant who organized everything on site and supervised the distribution together with the ALS board.
The need and demand for flour, oil and rice was very high. Therefore, after the first distribution, we increased the quantity for these food items and in return we did without beans and sugar.
For more than 11 months now, the Taliban have remained in power in Afghanistan. Despite all hopes and protests, the situation does not seem to be improving. In recent months, the new government has repeatedly published new measures and laws that increasingly oppress and restrict women.
The sufferers are trapped and the more time passes, the more they lose their hopes and thus the struggle. Poverty and famine are higher than ever before in the history of the country. Those who had the opportunity have already fled and those who are there now see flight as the only solution. On top of that, a natural disaster shook Afghanistan just recently. An earthquake took the lives of over 1000 people. The country seems unable to find peace.
As indicated in May, the distribution of food packages is now also no longer a permanent solution. There is a lot of pressure from both the government and the people on the ground, which makes it impossible to continue to ensure a fair and orderly distribution. The remaining donations are still being distributed, but we have also decided to venture a new way.
We have started a small pilot project where our students are given chickens to have a long term benefit. They can create their own small chicken farm and raise chickens for sale as well as for their own consumption. For a few weeks now, the selected women have been testing this and one can already see small successes.
We have decided to go this way because we can keep the circle of the chosen ones smaller and thus have better control over it in general. Not only the women, but the whole family can be helped in this way. With this method we practically fall through the cracks – new regulations of the governments concerning the distribution of food can be avoided in this way. The aid is designed for the long term and would thus have an added value.
Nevertheless, the situation remains unpredictable, how and whether something will change, for the better or for the worse. For us it is clear: we have to act now and be a support for the people so that they do not lose hope for a better future.
Another important pillar of our commitment is the sponsorships. They represent an extremely great help for the women. With a monthly donation, their basic needs and those of their families can be secured. We ensure that the monthly money is paid out to the sponsored children, currently every three months due to the ongoing banking problems.