Archive for Afghanistan

School Construction Continues

// March 24th, 2014 // No Comments » // Afghanistan, Afghanistan-Sheldon, TCD, TCD Education

School with roof nearly complete

School with roof nearly complete

Working with the Afghanistan government to build a school for Sheldon Village, the GHNI-Afghanistan and the village children are anxiously awaiting its completion.  With spring and better weather around the corner, all are filled with hope.  Here’s the latest on the school’s construction.

Sheldon Village*, Afghanistan

“Work on the school in central Afghanistan has been progressing well, although at a slower pace. It has not been without its problems, but overall the progress has been good.

“One of the main tasks recently was the installation of metal sheeting for the roof. This is about 90% finished.

“Inside, besides other work, there remains some work to be done with concrete. However, this specific job needs the green light from the Ministry of Education which we have not yet received because of winter.”

“Unfortunately, winter arrived before the work could be completed and the deadline of November 30 was missed. However, this was not totally unexpected and the construction company could continue with some work during the cold months, such as building windows and doors. We hope that it should be completely finished by spring.”

 *For purposes of security and well-being, “Sheldon Village” is a pseudonym of the village that is being helped by this project.

 

Newly Born Hope

// March 19th, 2014 // No Comments » // Afghanistan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, TCD, TCD Wellness

Pakistani woman who experienced a healthy birth

Pakistani woman who experienced a healthy birth

Central Asia

Swelling with new life, pregnant women in a hard to reach region of Central Asia experienced mixed emotions in previous years.  There was joy and hope at the expectation of a child, but they also feared the real possibility of death – either their own or the death of their newborn baby.  Their villages historically reported a high mortality rate for newborns and birthmothers.

As GHNI workers began implementing Transformational Community Development (TCD) in these villages, village leaders reported wellness as a high priority.  Through partnership with nurses and midwives, a BLiSS (Birth Life Saving Skills) program began. For several months, BLiSS trainers lived within the villages, training women in midwifery.  This way many women would be trained as a midwife, allowing each of the villages to experience an increase in safe, live births.  One village reported zero birth-related deaths the following year!

Save the lives of women and babies by donating to GHNI’s wellness programs!

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New Manager Plans Exhibition

// March 7th, 2014 // No Comments » // Afghanistan, Afghanistan-Garden of Hope and Peace, TCD, TCD Education

Artwork from a previous art exhibition held by GHNI

Artwork from a previous art exhibition held by GHNI

With a new manager running the show, GHNI-Afghanistan is looking forward to new things in store for this community sanctuary.  GHNI leaders share the newest happenings:

Garden of Hope and Peace, Afghanistan

“The new Manager of the Garden of Peace and Hope has successfully completed his first month with GHNI. We are pleased with him and the work he has been doing. He has had a busy month learning the work and planning an exhibition that will take place in February.

“This exhibition is in cooperation with the Fine Arts Department of the University of Kabul. It is a collection of collages focusing on landscapes and faces of Afghanistan and highlights the skills of the students at the Fine Arts Department. The artwork will be on display for about a week at the Garden and we hope to follow this up with another exhibition from the University.”

Village Clusters in
Central Asia

// February 12th, 2014 // No Comments » // Afghanistan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, TCD

Tajik family from a previous GHNI visit

Tajik family

Global Hope Network International was birthed through a pilot project to refugee camps in Afghanistan in 1999.  As we continue to work in many areas of Afghanistan, we’ve expanded into many other regions of the world.  One notable lesson we have learned along the way is the value of working in Village Clusters.

Think of it as the suburbs of the rural developing world, small villages neighboring each other with influence on each other’s lives.  The cyclical pattern of extreme poverty in these areas is contagious amongst village clusters in Central Asia.  GHNI has learned when one village in a cluster begins to take hold of Transformational Community Development (TCD), other villages in the cluster clamor for the opportunity to invite change into their village.

Pakistani girl

Pakistani girl

GHNI is currently working on plans to expand from one such village cluster in Afghanistan and into bordering countries Pakistan and Tajikistan this year.  With many generations of poverty resulting in illness, malnutrition, and high rates of child mortality, GHNI hopes to initiate infectious healing of TCD into communities of the village clusters of Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Tajikistan.  By coming alongside these communities and educating them in the areas of clean water, food production and nutrition, income generation, health and wellness, and education, we desire to help villagers be the change in their own community as a model for other villages in their cluster.

Help us to expand our work in Central Asia this year:

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Computer Centre Inaugurated

// January 10th, 2014 // No Comments » // Afghanistan, Afghanistan-Bendall, TCD, TCD Education

The inauguration of Computer Centre in Bendall

The inauguration of Computer Centre in Bendall

After long-awaiting resources to begin a computer center in Bendall, GHNI-Afghanistan celebrated in its recent inauguration.  Aiding in developing a self-sustaining community, the center will provide an educational opportunity otherwise inaccessible to students which will aid in attaining good jobs in the future.

Bendall*, Afghanistan

“This month was a month for celebration in Bendall, as funding for the long-awaited Computer Centre arrived!

“Our worker, who lives in Bendall, spent several days in Kabul buying all the necessary equipment – from the six computers themselves, to chairs and desks, to solar panels and various cables. Despite some initial delays transporting it back to the village, due to security concerns and a few days of national holiday, our worker and the equipment arrived safely in Bendall.

“On 29 November, the villagers held an inauguration ceremony to officially open the Computer Centre. This was a great opportunity for our worker to talk about and emphasised self-sustainability, ownership and development. In addition, he could teach some of the key Transformational Community Development principles and lessons to the community, with about 50 men and women present.

“The new teacher for the Computer Centre already expects more than 50 students to take lessons and has put together a lesson plan. Once the school winter exams are over and holidays have begun, the Computer Centre can officially begin.”

* For purposes of security and well-being, “Bendall” is a pseudonym of the village that is being helped by this project.

 

Trees Provide Income

// November 29th, 2013 // No Comments » // Afghanistan, Afghanistan-Valley of Ali, TCD, TCD Income

Trees

Young Poplar Trees

Families lives continue to be transformed with the income provided by hybrid poplar trees planted by GHNI.  In their latest report on the project’s progress, the GHNI Afghanistan team shares how families are becoming more sustainable.

Valley of Ali, Afghanistan

“The valleys of Central Afghanistan are verdant and lush and provide good places for the inhabitants to pasture their flocks or to grow crops of wheat and barley. The scenery is stunningly beautiful!  The high mountains which cover 90% of the province rise up on each side of the green pastures.

“However, the climate – transitional between cold arid and semi-arid – can be harsh. The severe winters last up to 6 months of the year, cutting off many villages in an area where transportation facilities are already sparse. Heavy snowfall in winter, followed by spring flooding, can wreak havoc on the locals’ attempts to feed their families from the soil.

“It is in light of all this that GHNI began the tree project in the region several years ago. The hybrid poplar trees continue to grow well there and we are encouraged by the progress being made in this project. In an area where many people have only unsteady, if any, income, the opportunity to make money from fast growing poplars is attractive.

“In the first quarter of this year, several new farmers were given cuttings from the existing trees. Although patience is required as they wait for the trees to reach maturity, so far it looks promising. The trees have continued to grow well.  We are optimistic that these farmers will also be able to provide extra support for their families from the income they should gain.”

Water Widely Affects Village

// November 15th, 2013 // No Comments » // Afghanistan, Afghanistan-Q Village, TCD, TCD Income, TCD Water, TCD Wellness

Dry farmland yields poor harvest

Dry farmland yields poor harvest

Water is such a vital part of life.  The GHNI team in Afghanistan shares this captivating report on how the installation of a solar water pump transformed this village…

Q Village, Afghanistan

“Fresh running water, pumped directly into our homes, is a luxury many of us take for granted in the West. Moreover, the water available to us is not only abundant, but clean and fresh and our children drink it with no thought of getting sick from it. The people of Q Village* do not have such luxury.

“However, whilst they may not have clean water available inside their houses, they do at least now have running water available in their shared courtyard, thanks to the solar pump GHNI helped install last year. This has made a huge difference in their lives as the women and children no longer have to walk to collect water and it gives the children more time to spend at school.

“In spring this year, GHNI helped build a bigger and better water tank, at the request of the village elders. The villagers have been thrilled with this addition as it means more water can be stored and less wasted.

“We are currently in the process of helping them build a better water channel for irrigating their orchard and vineyards which should ensure better crops to help supplement their diet. There has been a slight delay in completing this, but we hope to get it done soon.”

*For purposes of security and well-being, “Q Village” is a pseudonym of the village being helped by this project.

Teacher Engages Village

// November 1st, 2013 // No Comments » // Afghanistan, Afghanistan-Bendall, TCD, TCD Education

SAMSUNG

Boys like these have a better future become of the TCD program in Bendall Village

Progress is being made in this new Transformational Community Development (TCD) project because of the gifted teacher who is leading the community.  Here’s just a taste of the enthusiasm from our team in Afghanistan:

Bendall, Afghanistan

“The work in Bendall* village is progressing well, with our TCD supervisor making good progress with the TCD lessons. He is an enthusiastic and gifted teacher and appears to have a good relationship with the relevant individuals in the area.

“The villagers are still waiting with anticipation for the Computer Centre, but it is understood that at least part of the funding has come in and our worker can begin to make progress with this as soon as possible.”

 

*For purposes of security and well-being, “Bendall Village” is a pseudonym of the village being helped by this project.

School Construction Racing Winter

// October 11th, 2013 // No Comments » // Afghanistan, Afghanistan-Sheldon, TCD, TCD Education

School construction workers racing against impending winter weather

School construction workers racing against impending winter weather

Construction of a building is never an easy process.  Thankfully for this village, the GHNI team in Afghanistan was able to smooth some of the bumps along the road toward a better education for their children.  The team shares the progress of the school construction and more…

Sheldon, Afghanistan

“The last month has been a busy one for the school construction project in Sheldon. The problems with the previous construction company have been resolved and we have found a new company to continue the work. We trust this company will make good progress.

“However, the weather here in Afghanistan is already cooling down and autumn feels just around the corner. This is a clear reminder that winter is also not far away and time is limited for completing the school before the snow comes. However, the new company is aware of the time constraints and promises to work hard to try and complete the work this year – initial progress reports from the new company suggest that they will do so.”

 

Health Lessons Begin

“Our worker is currently in Sheldon and plans to spend several weeks there, not only keeping an eye on the school project, but also teaching the first lot of Health lessons in the valley. He plans to teach a couple of lessons each week in two of the villages we have been working in. This first phase will form part of a 3-phase course which covers the main health issues in the area. At the end of the full course, the participants will receive a certificate.

“This 3-phase course is far better for Afghanistan, rather than individual lessons, and gives it more credibility amongst the villagers and the government officials who check up on our work. It also helps our worker to keep focussed on the teaching.”

BLiSS: Birth Life Saving Skills

// August 16th, 2013 // No Comments » // Afghanistan, Afghanistan-Bendall, Afghanistan-Sheldon, TCD, TCD Wellness

More children have a living chance because of BLiSS

More children have a living chance because of BLiSS

As a part of GHNI’s Transformational Community Development (TCD) wellness training, Birth Life Saving Skills (BLiSS) has become a critical player, particularly meeting the needs of rural villages in Afghanistan.  Our GHNI Afghanistan team explains this need in the context of two of the villages where they are currently conducting TCD.

Sheldon*, Afghanistan

“Sandak* is a small village located in Central Afghanistan not too far from Sheldon and the majority of the population there is Hazara. As elsewhere in the country, the area has a complex past. In the 1960s and 1970s the region was home to an educated and progressive society. However, this changed with the troubles of the following decades and life is now, inevitably, hard for many of the villagers in the area.

“GHNI has therefore begun a trial BLiSS course for the women of Sandak. Our trainer, a nurse from a nearby town, has a heart to help her fellow country women. For the past 2 months she has been travelling to the area for 2 days each week to teach the women basic skills which could help save the lives of themselves and their children. Though they may not have much in terms of material possessions, they do have time and the women – neighbours, friends and family – gather on the floor of the room designated for the lessons each week to listen to what they are taught.”

The Impact of Training

Bendall*, Afghanistan

“Many Afghans have experienced the loss of an unborn baby or a young child. A few months ago we sent our TCD trainer from Bendall on a Birth Life Saving Skills (BLiSS) course in the capital. The aim is that he (and his wife) can teach these skills to people in their village in order to help reduce problems during pregnancy and labour.

“Shortly after he returned to his village, our trainer heard that a neighbour had given birth at 8 months and sadly the baby had died. Our trainer was able to share some of what he had learnt with the grieving mother and pass on some of the materials from the course to help reduce problems next time. We hope that armed with such knowledge from the course, this young mother and others like her will experience safer pregnancies in future.”

*For purposes of security and well-being, “Sheldon,” “Sandak,” and “Bendall” are pseudonyms of the villages being helped by this project.