It’s been a little over ten years since the start of the Afghan war, in which forces from the United States, United Kingdom and Australia worked with the Afghan United Front to root out al-Qaeda and ultimately turn over government power from the Taliban regime to a democratic state. This war is still being fought, and is in fact spilling over into neighboring Pakistan and more remote regions.
I will not be discussing the merits of this conflict.
Instead I will reiterate that fact above. It has been over ten years since the country has basically been in a state of civil war with varying degrees of foreign occupation. That means that there are children born in Afghanistan who have lived their entire lives with no knowledge of any other way of existence. That is their home, and all that they know other than what they have been told by their parents. According to a 2009 report by UNICEF, Afghanistan is the most dangerous place in the world for a child to be born.
Let that sink in for a moment.
These children lack even the most basic supplies, let alone the tools to receive any sort of education. I have been told that school often consists of teachers writing in the sand with sticks. Education is imperative for any child and especially for one trying to rise about the turmoil and escape poverty. Food and aid are great gifts, but knowledge is also a prize not quickly overlooked.
That is why School Supplies for Afghan Children is so important. This is not just about providing children with pencils, but giving them a better chance at life. We are not powerless to reach out and help, to foster community, and really make a difference. And while many people have forgotten about Afghanistan they need they help now as much, if not more so, than ever.
Supplies waiting to be packaged and shipped out. Before boxes can be sent, all edges and holes have to be tightly sealed against the elements and all donations must be checked for inappropriate or proselytizing materials.
Three ring binders are useless without paper to put in them.We had a good stack of packaged, lined paper, but we ran out before all of the binders had been filled. Printer paper is not ideal, but with the help of a three-hole punch will do in a pinch.
A crew filling out shipping labels. All of them must be written out by hand.
A load of boxes awaiting shipping labels and a long journey to Afghanistan.