As many of you know I host this fundraiser every other year to help the neighbors and community of my family in Kabul, Afghanistan who have struggled in the face of continuing conflict, poor security, joblessness and poverty. While we held this fundraiser last in 2019, this year is exceptional because of how COVID 19 is affecting the country and especially Kabul. It is estimated that as much as one third of the population of Kabul may be infected with COVID 19. The health system is already extremely precarious and while the country has called for people to stay home that is impossible for people to do who are not able to feed themselves or their families without work. This is a very dire situation for people across the city, including the neighbors and community of my family.
On April 24th the month of Ramadan started. One of the things we celebrate during this month is the spirit of brotherhood and helping those who are less fortunate than ourselves. In Kabul, $25 USD buys a 50 pound bag of "ard" (Dari word for flour)--that's enough to feed a family of 4 for a month. A picture of the family packages that we put together can be seen above here. As you can see, a small contribution will make a big difference! Food aid recipient decisions are made by my family, who work closely with the community, as well as our local shop keeper. Food packages are delivered directly by my family when necessary, although now in order to minimize their risk of infection the shopkeeper will also distribute them by pick-up. All pick-ups are double checked against listed families and verified by my dad. In some cases we may use donations for direct cash aid to families who have lost their jobs and may be in danger of losing their homes or need funds to cover medical expenses.
To learn more about how Covid-19 is affecting Afghanistan, here are a few articles:
Coronavirus: Five of the countries most at risk from famine in 2020 https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-52379956
Coronavirus: Seven million Afghan children risk hunger https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-52488792
Please consider helping if you can!
For those of you who don't know me I am a native Afghan and came to the USA 10 years ago for graduate school. I completed my PhD at UC Davis in 2016 and now I'm working as an agricultural consultant in Denver, CO. My family still lives in Kabul.
Seven years ago I held the first "Ard Afghanistan Fundraiser." With the support of my friends and community in the US we were able to help many families, including friends and neighbors in Afghanistan. Every other year I have started this fundraiser again and each time we have been able to help many people. This is the fifth edition of this fundraiser and we hope that you can once again help be a part of meeting our goal!
- Ryan Murphy
- Kathleen Mason
- Katy Dynarski
- Juliet Braslow
- Lauren Pincus