Thank you for giving 21 years of hope!

Dear Friend,

We are so thankful for so many of you who have been with us from the beginning of Global Hope Network International.

The vision began in 1999 when went to relieve the suffering of Afghan refugees in Peshawar, Pakistan who had fled the Taliban back then. That’s when the vision for Global Hope Network International was born. “Network” is an important part of our name and strategy, because of the many partners in Pakistan who helped us gain access to the refugee camps and set up the distribution of food, quilts, and sandals for the children. We know we can’t do anything alone.

Our partners went through the camp we chose to help to register how many children each family had and what day they should come to the distribution site to receive their things. They were given a card that listed the things they were to receive with check boxes next to them. The administrative staff who helped with the distribution said, “Now for the first time, ‘refugee’ has a face for me.”

We didn’t want to just hand out stuff, but wanted to treat them with love and respect and give them hope. So, our partners helped set up two foot-washing stations, one for the boys and one for the girls so we could wash their feet before fitting them with new sandals. This also served to triage other medical needs, such as a little girl who had a broken thumb bone that was sticking out. We asked her parents if we could take her to hospital. They were so grateful. 

It took a whole week to distribute the food, quilts, and sandals to the camp. At one point we ran out of quilts and had to ask the women sewing them to make more. The families that did not have the quilt box checked off on their registration cards came back to receive their quilt when it was ready.

After the Taliban were defeated a couple of years later, the refugees moved back to their villages and we began to help them with our Transformational Community Development (TCD) lessons. We taught them how to trellis their grapevines which were previously left to sprawl on the ground. We taught them how to grow fast growing poplar trees to reforest the land and provide wood for houses and firewood. We taught then to grow mushrooms in their basements and saffron instead of poppies.

A young girl who had lost both her parents was afraid her two brothers would sell her as the third or fourth wife of an old Mullah so they could survive, was taken in by our jam making project, where she learned to make jam and began to make more money than her brothers. She said, “Now I can choose my own husband!” 

Those are a few of the stories of my time in Afghanistan. Now it’s 2021 and the children born since we started working there had not lived under Taliban rule till now. The women and girls who participated in our Women’s Empowerment Centres can no longer attend and are required to be covered and remain at home unless accompanied by a male relative when they go out. For the many widows who have no male relatives alive, this is an especially hard situation as they have no means of support or ability to sell whatever they are able to produce. Winter is extremely cold in Afghanistan. We previously had a campaign called “Navy Blue Children” because when the refugees were living in flimsy tents, children actually turned blue and froze to death. So getting help to them at this time is critical.

We are still able to get funds into the country through trusted partners and some of our heroic staff have chosen to remain to carry on the work to help the poorest of the poor. Your generosity has made it possible for our work in Afghanistan to continue.

Gratefully yours,

Lana Jones

Co-Founder of GHNI

 

P.S. To celebrate your impact as part of the GHNI family, check out this brief highlight video of the last 21 years!