More than just a box

 
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A group of young boys and girls each gather to open their bright red boxes. They are excited as this is the first gift that many have received in some time, if not ever. Each box is filled with items like new crayons, pencils, and other basic school supplies. These simple gifts are items we frequently take for granted, but for families in Afghanistan, these items are costly and sometimes difficult to attain. Access to water for agricultural activities is also difficult to come by. As many families depend on agriculture as their primary source of income, food security is a grave concern. Children in particular are especially vulnerable to the impacts of food insecurity.

SFL is grateful to have partnered with Samaritan Purse’s Operation Christmas Child again to further support Afghan families in Takhar provine. Thanks to this partnership, 1,375 children in the Takhar capital, Taloqan, have received bright red Operation Christmas Child gift boxes.

Seeing the pure joy expressed by children receiving gift boxes was, and always is, an amazing experience for our staff. These gifts are much more than just items in a box—they are an incentive to inspire students to continue attending school and the resources they need to excel, including school and hygiene supplies. The boxes also increase parent’s awareness of their child’s education, and can motivate families to enroll their children in school, increasing the rates of improved academic performance and grade completion. This support, in the hands of excited school children, can make a lasting impact on communities.

But these boxes don’t just fall from the sky. Donors and volunteers generously give their time to pack boxes with thoughtful supplies and gifts. These positive outcomes that result from this exchange with students would not be possible without their help.

In SFL’s most recent delivery, three elementary schools received gift boxes, including Pengani, Qualbars, and Abdul Majed Elementary School. In total, 924 boys and 451 girls received gifts. These three elementary schools are just the first of many batches set to be delivered to many more children in Afghanistan this year!

Last year, SFL reached nearly 4,000 children in Takhar province, and the impact was profound.

According to the provincial Director of Education, following the distribution of the gift boxes, there was a noticeable increase in attendance rates. A number that would continue to rise with further box distribution. Our team is humbled and grateful to have been able to impart joy onto the children in Takhar. We hope to continue to partner with Samaritan Purse and further positively impact school children in Afghanistan with these gift boxes.

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