Helping Communities Survive the Harsh Winter

Young girl waiting to turn in coupon for home repairs supplies

Young girl waiting to turn in coupon for home repairs supplies

Taka Timooz is one of many rural villages that is now warmer over the winter season. In 2006, our team worked to winterizes homes for 1,800 families in three northern providences of Afghanistan, with funding from the US State Department.  Making improvements on war-damaged houses while furnishing each vulnerable family with one warm dry room utilizes resources efficiently, maximizing the prevention of sickness and death, all while having a positive impact on the local economy.

A new window is installed as part of a winterization package, for a farming family of nine.  The father of the family, Ahdinamohammad reflects back to the recent war zone era of Taka Timooz.  He and his family are in the small minority of people which actually stayed in the village during Taliban occupation. 

Kareem, a fifteen year old boy, lost his father three years ago, and currently cares for his younger siblings. Kareem also stayed in the village, and was forced to do labor for Taliban soldiers. 

While so few villagers stayed, most homes of the vacated were plundered.  Parts such as doors were dismantled, and used for firewood by the soldiers.  SFL was able to provide Kareem and his family one of such doors in the process of preparing his home for winter.

Shamsulla’s father died ten years ago.  Today, at the young age of fifteen he doesn’t go to school, like his younger siblings, but must work as a farmer to support his family.  Unable to repair the ruins of their old house, after the war,

The family is now being provided a room, by a kind neighbor. 

Children from Tahkar province receive stove and other winterization goods

Children from Tahkar province receive stove and other winterization goods

Pillows, warm blankets, small woodstoves, and other household items evoke sincere gratitude from Niaz, Mohammad, his wife, and five children.  The family left to the city of Taloquan for a year and a half while the fighting was going on. 

These are only a few of the lives positively affected by SFL’s recent winterization project.  Many people in rural northern regions that are otherwise left to the struggles of winter in destroyed villages on their own are now helped immensely.  Community resources are maximized by efficiently implemented plans which are based on concepts that give villagers mutual benefit. 

Those renting apartments get repairs for no cost in return for allowing a family to stay for free.  Female headed households willing to take in other female are paired to receive aid.  Many of the pillows and blankets being distributed are made by Afghani women’s groups, which is benefiting the local economy.  Extended families take each other in if the space is sufficient, and SFL winterizes it.

Beyond benefiting a local economy, this project is able to protect priceless human lives.  No doubt Shelter For Life has efficiently implemented plans to warm this winter for an appreciative multitude in Northern Afghanistan.

PMS, DonateJes Alexander-Rowe