In January and February 2020, before Covid-19 came along and all of Operation Mercy’s programming in the refugee camps was shut down to prevent the spread of the virus, Khalida* was an irregular participant in our fitness classes.
Access to schools and education is limited for village women…
Hope and Health is a place where psycho-social and physical recovery meet. Here is a haven where people can be listened to in confidence, and where their unresolved grief can see the light of day.
Mahmood immediately went to work to pass on the lessons he had learnt. He found a water container, cleaned it out, tied a string with a piece of rope to the bottle opening and made a tippy tap,
She denied it and said it never happened, and that I must have dreamed it!
Many men in the communities are learning how to better care for their pregnant women.
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!”
Health is everyone’s responsibility, and Bibi grew in her health knowledge and confidence through our training and put it into practice for the good of her community.
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.
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.
Educating disadvantaged communities about their health does not only prevent illnesses and improve their wellbeing, but it can also save lives.
Hassan and Hussein are twin boys born in a village in northern Tajikistan. Both were born with cerebral palsy due to brain damage during birth and have severe physical disabilities.
This encounter with our physiotherapist through our Operation Mercy Hope and Health project has made a big difference for one girl with a disability who now,
“When I come here all my worries go away.” Exercises and social support are making a difference in women’s lives.
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.
How do you change people and communities when you cannot go near them?
The kidney surgery was life saving for Sarah! She is now an active and smiley 1 year old, adored by her older siblings.
Our health trainers don’t just “tick off the boxes” after they teach a lesson, but they pay attention and try to see the women, to understand them,
“Before coming to fitness I was hopeless but after coming here I received great hope,” Rosa said.
“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
“I still struggle with my emotions. However, I have been able to lose about 10kg and I am working hard to continue to lose even more weight with your help and your effort on our behalf.”