From your award winning charity
27 August 2021

10 Ways You've Changed Lives in Afghanistan

Safa Faruqui
10 Ways You've Changed Lives in Afghanistan

Muslim Hands has been working in Afghanistan since 1993 - and your support has allowed us to expand considerably over almost three decades!

In 2005, we established an office in Kabul with the aim of improving the lives of impoverished communities. Through free health care, safe water projects, sponsoring orphans and so much more, we are committed to alleviating suffering in a country which has experienced instability and poverty across generations.

Alhamdulillah, we are now well-established in the communities we work with and we’ve implemented over 230 projects in Afghanistan so far! We'd like to take this opportunity to thank you for your ongoing donations, as none of this would be possible without your unwavering support and incredible generosity.

The Prophet (saw) said, 'Verily, the believers are like a structure, each one strengthening the other'. [Bukhari]

Here are ten ways you've been a source of strength for the people of Afghanistan:

1. Running our Motherkind clinic

Since 2011, we have been running a Motherkind clinic in Kabul with your support. It has provided hundreds of thousands of people with health care, with the main focus being on mothers and babies.

According to WHO, the main reason women die during pregnancy and childbirth is that they do not have access to the health care they need to survive. 99% of maternal deaths occur in developing countries, with Afghanistan having one of the worst maternal mortality rates in the world - 396 women pass away for every 100,000 births.

Moreover, access to health care is vital during the early years of a child's life, when they are most vulnerable. But decades of conflict have taken their toll on health infrastructure in Afghanistan, with the poorest suffering the most. In Kabul, there are only two maternal hospitals.

Tackling poverty begins with making sure that a child has the best start possible in life. Our Motherkind clinics:

  • Provide primary care to women and children, including blood tests, ultrasound scans and being supported by a midwife in our delivery ward
  • Supply micronutrient supplements to pregnant women, breastfeeding women and children to prevent deficiency disorders
  • Run vaccination programmes to immunise children against tuberculosis, polio, tetanus, measles and more
  • Hold discussion sessions on health and hygiene to raise awareness about best practices, ensuring mothers have the information they need to keep their children healthy
  • Give comprehensive medical consultations and medical treatment to mothers and their children

This is just a glimpse of the care we offer from the clinic - you can read more in this article.

The most fundamental part of our Motherkind clinic is our community outreach programme.

Many of the women we work with don't leave their homes for medical treatment - only 43% of all births in the country are attended by trained professionals. There are several reasons for this. They may be unable to access a clinic due to the cost of transport or difficulty travelling the distance. They may be from traditional homes, where the cultural norm is for women to not travel. A lot of the patients are internally displaced, which means they have been separated from the support network of their home villages and the trustworthy experts of their own communities.

At Motherkind, we want to make sure that we provide these women with the care they are most comfortable with. Our community health workers carry out regular home visits throughout the patient’s pregnancy, provide support during childbirth and monitor the mother and infant’s progress in the post-natal period.

This not only prevents needless illnesses and death, it builds trust in the community. Alhamdulillah, Motherkind has been awarded the title of ‘Best Clinic in the Area’ by the Afghan Department of Public Health! Thanks to your continued donations, this vital project has built a reputation for providing high quality and sensitive maternal care in local communities.

2. Providing education

If the first step towards tackling poverty is ensuring a child's mother survives the birth and that the infant has the healthiest possible start in life, the next step is educating the child.

With your support, our School of Excellence in Afghanistan is giving children the opportunity to go to school and fulfil their potential. There are currently 501 children at this school, 184 of whom are girls.

Ma sha Allah, 62% of these students are having their education completely subsidised by generous donors! You are providing them with school supplies and stationary, uniforms, transport to and from the school and tuition fees - all for free. Moreover, orphans - who make up 59% of the student body - are provided with free school meals.

We also run madrassahs in Afghanistan to teach children Qur'an. Currently, the Ghazni Qur'an Madrassah has 200 students, over half of which are girls, and the madrassah is run all week by six teachers.

In a country devastated by decades of conflict, it is important to give children as much stability as possible. Whether this is through Motherkind, our School of Excellence or our orphan sponsorship programme, your donations ensure vulnerable children receive the care they deserve, while lifting a huge burden from their guardian's shoulders.

3. Giving cataract eye camps

Cataracts are one of the most common reasons for loss of eyesight in one or both eyes. However, cataract removal operations are cheap, low-risk and easy to perform. The operation takes less than an hour, and the healing process takes up to six weeks. And yet, many people around the world are living with blindness simply because they cannot afford the medical expense of treatment.

Alhamdulillah, we are constantly running cataract eye camps all over the world - and this year, you have donated an eye camp in Afghanistan! Using the Motherkind Clinic to provide treatment, our team will give eye check-ups to 100 people who cannot afford health care, providing free cataract operations to those in need.

4. Providing vocational training and sustainable livelihoods

At Muslim Hands, we are committed to tackling the root causes of poverty and helping people create a better future for themselves. As well as health care and education, you are also providing sustainable livelihoods in Afghanistan to give a hand-up rather than a hand-out.

Our livelihood projects in Afghanistan include training widows and other impoverished women in chicken farming and sewing, empowering them with the skills they need to support themselves and their families.

We are currently providing sewing training to 60 women in the Behsood District in Jalalabad Nangarhar. They attend this vocational class for four hours a day, four hours a week and the programme lasts two months.

These women are being trained in sewing, design and tailoring, including advice on how to set up their own businesses. While they are in the class, they are given all the accessories and materials they need for free, so they can learn essential skills without financial stress. After they have graduated, they will be given a certificate, a sewing machine and enough fabric to help them get started!

Alhamdulillah, we have been running these sewing classes for many years and it is truly inspiring to see these women become skilled, empowered and successful!

Back in February 2021, a widow named Razia participated in this sewing machine training and it completely changed her life. You can read her story here.

5. Sharing food on blessed occasions

As well as these livelihood opportunities, we also distribute food in impoverished communities, as the Prophet (saw) said, 'The best of you are those who feed others'. [Ahmad]

This is especially important during Ramadan and Eid. Struggling families shouldn't have to worry about affording a delicious meal on these blessed days - they should be able to celebrate with the rest of the Ummah and worship Allah (swt) without stress.

Every year, you share your food with the people of Afghanistan on these special occasions. In 2021 alone, you provided 4,200 people with enough food for the entire month of Ramadan, including rice, meat, cooking oil and dates. You even gave them wood for cooking the food! These were all internally displaced families who were able to share in the blessings of Ramadan thanks to your generosity.

You also sent your Qurbani to 4,200 people in Afghanistan, allowing them to enjoy a rare meal with meat during the special days of Eid al-Adha.

6. Distributing relief during winter

In Afghanistan, temperatures can drop as low as -15 degrees during the winter. Our team describe this season as 'hell' for poor children in the country - they are in desperate need of emergency relief.

Every winter, you send life-saving supplies to Afghanistan to help them get through the worst of the cold. In 2021, you helped 2,100 people in Kabul and 2,100 people in Parwan with winter relief.

Our Winter Emergency Packs include vital food to nourish people against the bitter cold, as well as blankets and warm shawls to ensure they don't get sick during the below-freezing nights.

In this way, you are not only supporting Afghanistan through long-term projects; you are also giving emergency supplies to our brothers and sisters to meet their immediate needs.

7. Gifting water to the whole country

Back in 2017, a generous donor pledged £1 million to provide clean drinking water in Afghanistan! Around a quarter of the population lack access to safe water and his vision was to lay the foundations for bringing the country out of poverty through this transformative project.

This project is ongoing and we hope it will be completed by 2025, in sha Allah! We are digging wells in vulnerable communities and, drop by drop, providing hundreds more people with life-saving water with each finished well.

All the wells are being constructed in the memory of the Prophet Muhammad (saw), the best of creation and a mercy to all the worlds. We pray Allah (swt) brings this generous brother closer to His Messenger (saw) and that he reaps the countless rewards of this Sadaqah Jariyah for generations to come, amin!

8. Responding to the coronavirus pandemic

As mentioned earlier, in addition to our long-term projects we also provide emergency relief such as winter supplies. In 2020, our team responded to the coronavirus crisis by providing PPE to help control the spread of Covid-19, and distributing leaflets in communities to raise awareness. We also installed hand-washing facilities at our projects to protect beneficiaries from illness.

Ma sha Allah, we were overwhelmed by your support at the beginning of the pandemic! Despite your own difficulties and stress, you did not hesitate to reach out to vulnerable families across the world - including in Afghanistan - to help them make it through the crisis. You truly followed the advice of the Prophet (saw) when he said, 'Give charity without delay, for it stands in the way of calamity'. [Tirmidhi]

9. Sending vital aid during the flooding emergency

In September 2020, you also responded swiftly to devastating flash floods in Afghanistan. At least 160 people were killed across 13 provinces, mostly in the north, with hundreds of families displaced.

The worst-affected area was Parwan, where the local hospital was destroyed. Over 500 homes were destroyed in Parwan and 2,000 more damaged, mostly belonging to poor farmers and informal workers.

Because our team are already established in Afghanistan, we were able to immediately provide emergency aid to help survivors get through the crisis:

10. Supporting displaced families through the ongoing crisis

Alhamdulillah, you have sent so much aid to Afghanistan, truly supporting them throughout conflict and instability. To date, we have implemented over 230 projects across the country - and we couldn't have done it without your generosity.

Now, our brothers and sisters are once more in need of your Zakat and Sadaqah.

In 2021 alone, 550,000 Afghans have been displaced, while massive aid cuts mean resources are stretched desperately thin. The recent crisis in Afghanistan has left the country 'on the brink of humanitarian catastrophe' [UN]. Thousands of families have fled the escalating violence, seeking refuge in Kabul and surrounding provinces. They have left everything behind to survive and are now sleeping on the streets or in makeshift tents, with no food, clean water or medical care.

72,000 children are among these displaced survivors. They are suffering from unimaginable trauma and desperately need emergency aid.

Our team are already on the ground providing cooked meals, running a mobile health clinic for IDPs and distributing emergency packs. Your donations are supplying essential food and non-food items to displaced families, including powdered milk, diapers, blankets, medicine and hot meals.

We urgently need your support to reach even more vulnerable families during the crisis.

As you have stood by the people of Afghanistan for over two decades, we are once more calling on you to help them during their hour of need. Give now to our Afghanistan Emergency Appeal.


Muslim Hands UK

Established in 1993, Muslim Hands is an aid agency and NGO helping those affected by poverty, conflict and natural disaster in over 20 countries worldwide.