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Our Handmade Gifts Being Distributed in Afghanistan

2006 Distribution by Afghan Relief Organization
In 2006, our wool sweaters, hats, and socks were transported by Afghan Relief Organization to Kalafgan, in Takhar Province, a remote northeastern area that infrequently receives relief distributions. The location is mountainous and rugged. The drive from Kabul to Kalafgan by truck is long and tiring. The residents' lives are difficult.
   This area has a poor provincial economy, with unpaved roads and limited electricity and other utilities. Food often costs more than in Kabul. Winter brings snow. Afghan Relief Organization reports that recipients were very happy to receive our handmade garments.
We are grateful for the dedication of the Afghan Relief Organization team in taking our gifts to the people of Kalafgan. Afghan Relief Organization is a U.S.-based nonprofit that has provided humanitarian and educational services in Afghanistan since 1998. Photos courtesy of Afghan Relief Organization. This images are the property of Afghan Relief Organization and may not be printed, copied, or otherwise used for any purpose.

Distribution From Summer 2003 Campaign for 5,000 Children

In Summer 2003, afghans for Afghans conducted a campaign to generate 5,000 wool hats, mittens, socks, and sweaters for children ages 1-5 years. Thank you to all the knitters and crocheters who responded enthusiastically to this request. Shipped overseas by World Concern, our gifts were distributed in December in time for the winter weather.

While we came close to the 5,000 mark for wool garments, we did not quite reach that number. The load was supplemented with additional blankets and other items. Our relief agency partner (an Afghan organization that works with Church World Service) distributed the garments in sets of 10 to each mother for her family -- 500 families in total. These families have many children of young ages. These families live in Mazar City, Alburz, Nehr-e-Shahi, and Khulam districts of the Balkh Province in the north. We depend on the relief agency for their expertise on how best to distribute our gifts. The plastic bags being handed to the mothers are filled with our knitted and crocheted gifts.

  Click to view larger photos

Airline Ambassadors Delivers Our Gifts to Children in Kabul, December 2002

Airline Ambassadors is comprised of airline professionals who voluntarily travel on humanitarian missions worldwide. In December 2002, after the Muslim holy period of Ramadan, Maryanne Havryluck and Lorrie Moore delivered our hand-knit and crocheted gifts to children ages 8-15 years at a rehabilitation center in Kabul.

Maryanne tells us that Kabul's winter brought freezing temperatures, and our gifts arrived just in time. The rehabilitation center had no heat. Airline Ambassadors' missions are distinguished by their personable touch -- Maryanne and Lorrie arranged a party and distributed our knitted and crocheted items, plus toys, hygiene supplies, and more, as part of the festivities. The facility is dismal, and the children are traumatized, yet smiles and laughter abounded, Maryanne reports. We are grateful to Maryanne and Lorrie for their compassionate work.

Click to view larger photos

Photo notes:
Upper Left: The little boy stands below a mine-safety poster.
Lower-Left: Classroom and teachers.
Lower Right: Maryanne, in foreground, distributes caps and joy to the boy's class.
Middle Right: These four boys in sweaters and hats are brothers.
Center: The little girl is wearing a hat knitted by Missy McIver of Columbia, SC.
Upper Center: Lorrie hugs the girls.

The distributions described above were in addition to our other shipments of blankets and garments to displaced Afghan families since late 2001. You are warming children, women, and men. Your handmade gifts send a strong message of caring and respect to the people of this devastated country that's striving to rebuild.

Our Partner, American Friends Service Committee

With all our shipments, the American Friends Service Committee in San Francisco generously provides in-take on mail, storage services, and coordination assistance.

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