Besides hygiene and sanitation, Azad also learned how to obtain clean water through solar water disinfection.
Many men in the communities are learning how to better care for their pregnant women.
Every Self Help Group (SHG) has a plan or a goal to work toward. Some of the SHGs make three month plans, six month plans and a more mature SHG can have a one year plan.
In the areas where our WaSH (water, sanitation and hygiene) project is running, we find very high child mortality rates due to lack of basic sanitation facilities and the lack of knowledge about hygiene and disease prevention.
Doesn’t every child love the circus, perhaps even dreaming of being part the circus act? Imagine the delight when Afghan children from Operation Mercy’s Children groups enjoyed the visit of an organisation which uses circus performance to empower young people in Afghanistan.
There is a hunger for learning and education in Afghanistan. Rahmat Publications seeks to meet this deep need by translating, designing and publishing a variety of books that will make an impact on the values of society.
It was exciting to see their desire and willingness to work together, and the initiative they took to help one another and to ensure clean water for their community.
The hope is that in the future some of these poor families would start their own SHGs after having been in contact with the current groups and seeing how they can work together to better their own lives.
“I found that the group was not just about savings and taking loans, but there were also many important social issues that we could learn and talk about.
“We all are thankful for these lessons and are so happy that we have my daughter-in-law and my grandchild with us.” – Birth Life Saving Skills participant
“When I arrived at my daughter’s home, her pain had already begun. It was midnight, and we could not get to the clinic,” said Mrs. Siamoy*.
We are building a culture of reading among the children. As they read, they learn to express new ideas, and their attitudes and behavior change positively.
BLiSS is a health education program about pregnancy, birth and new born care which began in 2005. The programme was created to help address the child and mother mortality rate in Afghanistan which remains one of the highest in the world.
After joining the SHG, she began to listen to the difficulties and problems of the other women in her group. She realised that other people also had troubles and challenges.
The brilliant new COVID-19 Kids Story Book is published in Dari and Pashto by Operation Mercy’s Rahmat publications in Afghanistan.
The people said, “Shirin Gul has four daughters; one of them was born after taking the BLiSS course.” Another lady laughed and said, “The last one born was the luckiest one!”
The hunger for more education in Afghanistan is almost tangible and so is the need to improve the education standards and resources.
Through the Self Help Group Approach, staff worked hard to form new children’s groups last year in the less-privileged areas of Kabul and its surroundings. As many as 1500 children connected with a group and are now enjoying and using our Rahmat books.
At a recent book exhibition, Tolo TV was looking for a publisher whose books were “pure Afghan”, produced by Afghans, for Afghans and published inside Afghanistan.
Operation Mercy BLiSS projects continue to make a significant impact in Afghanistan. In 2017, over 2,800 women and 600 men participated and graduated in the 17-week BLiSS course in Afghanistan.
Operation Mercy Afghanistan has produced a second COVID-awareness book, “STAY HOME, STAY HEALTHY!”. This time the book is focusing on the meaning of quarantine – the importance of staying at home and the importance of keeping sick people separated from the rest of the people in the house.