The Africa Muslims Agency in Kabul Afghanistan Photo Facebook/ AMA
Kabul – Afghanistan is a country ravaged by four decades of war. Many widows and orphans are in dire need of aid and relief. The Africa Muslims Agency’s (AMA) Imagine Campaign aims to assist all those in need.
The situation is so extreme that even those who are employed are not spared from the pangs of hunger that has gripped so many, said Hafiz Hassan Choonara, a volunteer at the African Muslim Agency.
“You get people who have jobs, who are the working class but even they are standing in the queues of our bakeries just to get a smell of the bread to break their fast. This is the dire situation that we face. People who are so-called earners are standing in the queues outside our bakeries.”
Choonara explained how the campaign is about so much more than providing food relief to people.
“The Imagine campaign is about protecting the dignity of our mothers and women in Afghanistan. Many times, our women find themselves in vulnerable situations when it comes to the end of the month. Paying the rent, when it comes to putting food on the table. The Imagine campaign is not just about giving food but also protecting the dignity of the community and providing relief to Afghanistan.”
Hafiz Choonara has witnessed six-year old to eleven-year old boys in the street looking for any kind of work to do so they can help their mothers pay for rent and get some food on their table. The Imagine campaign aims to get rid of situations like these.
Water relief a necessity
Water scarcity is also a very serious issue in Afghanistan. As such, AMA is in the process of providing borehole water to the community. They have so far built over 150 borehole wells. Those living at the top of mountains have an extremely difficult task of obtaining water and even resort to extreme measures.
“What they normally do is they send their kids or the young children down the mountain. Perhaps fifty minutes to an hour with a twenty litre can to search for water and then they walk up another fifty minutes to give them the water.”
Those who don’t have any young children to help them or anyone else around them, resort to other measures.
“They take the surface water of sewage, the wastewater, they take that to their homes, boil it and use it. That’s why there’s a need for boreholes in Afghanistan to provide clean, drinking water. Apart from the benefit of the water, you bring back the dignity to these people and these homes. You also allow children to go back to school because they don’t have to go walking all over to find water.”
Children left orphaned
There are many children who have lost their parents due to the war and its consequences. AMA has taken up the role of sponsoring as many of these orphans as they can and according to Hafiz Choonara, the difference in their moods is like night and day.
“To give you the difference in dynamic, when you met the orphans a year and a half ago, they were sad, there were tears, there was depression so to speak. I met the same orphans on my last trip a month ago, and I met them again a few days ago, and this time it is a different dynamic. They’re smiling, they’re happy, they’re full of laughter.”
For those who want to donate but feel they may not have enough, Hafiz Choonara’s reminder, “It doesn’t take big changes, it doesn’t take massive donations, minuscule donations. But it’s the sincerity that counts that impacts the people here on the ground.” Listen to Maulana Luqmaan Skink and Hafiz Choonara from the Africa Muslims Agency.