The Reality and By-Products of War
Every day there are many Afghan Military Service men or Afghan National Police who have died as a result of war. For the last 34 years, war has plagued this country resulting in the loss of lives numbered in upwards of 400,000 (Wars and Casualties of the 20th and 21st Centuries by Piero Scaruffi). The ugly result of these great losses means the country is riddled with widows and orphans.
The UNDP Human Development Report for 2013 ranked Afghanistan 172 our of 187 countries, indicating that is one of the most challenging countries in terms of helping people improve their lives. In a country with an official unemployment rate of 35 percent, but when factoring in rampant underemployment, that number jumps closer to 50 percent (stars and Stripes 27 June 2014), and a poverty rate of 36% (UNDP), these widows are unable to find jobs to support themselves and their children. Some of these women had good lives until they lost their husbands, now they wake up every morning wondering how they are going to get through the day, how they are going to provide for their children. Many children are sent to Children’s Homes or sent out to work the streets in an effort of getting enough money to feed the mouths at home.
While the children are outselling chewing gum or washing cars, the widows are left with no option but to walk the streets begging for any little bit of money people are able to part with. These families are lucky if they are able to eat one meal a day and more than not this meal is without the protein of meat as they cannot afford it. Every day they go through the same routine waiting, hoping that tomorrow will be different, that tomorrow a door will open. TOI is that door. By helping these women find jobs, their lives and the lives of their children will be transformed. They will be able to get up each day knowing that today they can feed their children, they can keep their families together, and they can send their children to school instead of o
ut to the streets. They now have hope for a future that is worth living for.