Sowing hope in Afghanistan
Winter is a tough time for families living in the remote Central Highlands of Afghanistan. Blocked by snow for months on end, these families have to survive on whatever food they can reserve from their summer harvests.
Winter is a tough time for families living in the remote Central Highlands of Afghanistan. Blocked by snow for months on end, these families have to survive on whatever food they can reserve from their summer harvests. If a family experiences a poor harvest, the winter ahead can be a scary time. Families without sufficient food are often times forced to leave their home and community behind in search of food.
However, this winter, many more families in this region will thankfully have their fill because of kitchen gardens. For the last three years, Medair has been teaching remote communities in Afghanistan how to grow healthy food right at home to help them get through the winter.
Families also learn how to preserve what they grow so they have nourishing food all season long. And they learn hygiene practices that help keep their families healthy and avoid preventable diseases.
Delara* and her husband Ezatullah are one of the couples who have started their own vegetable garden through the support of Medair. During one visit, Delara was so excited to show off her bountiful garden.
“Medair staff gave us the seeds and helped us plant vegetable gardens next to our home. Before, in winter, I had only bread or apple soup to give to my 10 children. This year, I can also give them vegetables that I learned to dry,” said Delara, smiling.
Delara is one of the 1,850 women in the Central Highlands Region trained by Medair to create and maintain their own vegetable garden. This project gives women the tools to provide for their families, especially in winter, and aims to improve the resilience of families, thanks to a healthy diet.
Learning a new skill that reaps such positive benefits has been a source of pride and confidence for the women participating.
“Before, people used to laugh that women had started working on the land, and I was not used to holding a shovel,” laughs Delara. “But now they find it very interesting and it is becoming more normal, as everyone in our community is doing it. The women in the community are now very proud that they can do this, and that makes them very happy.”
The results of implementing kitchen gardens are very positive. Not only are families improving their overall health, but in Medair’s regions, families are no longer forced to give up everything in search of food and can instead stay at home in their village and continue the life they know.
If you’d like to join us in assisting women like Delara support their families in tough times, please consider making a gift towards our Women and Children’s Fund. Each gift is a seed of hope that bears fruit in the lives of those living in some of the most isolated and often forgotten communities in the world.
This month, we are ‘cooking up’ something extra for our supporters – a culinary challenge!
Are you familiar with Afghan cuisine? If not, try out one of these recipes to get a taste of the local cuisine and let us know you did it by tagging us on social media @MedairInt.
*Names have been changed for reasons of security.