Securing a Future
In the Wardak province of Afghanistan, temporary shelters for returning refugees usually means freezing in the winter months, bearing high temperatures in the summer heat and living among the flood waters when it rains. They often face nature’s harsh elements along with the financial hardships due to lack of adequate jobs to support their families. This is how Mirwais, 28, lived with his wife and two daughters—both under the age of four.
Contributing to these living conditions were the high employment rates which made it nearly impossible for Mirwais to find work. Although he was able to collect a small harvest each year and tended a small family garden, Mirwais was unable to fully support his family on his current wages.
Building a Home
In 2006, UMCOR helped Mirwais build a permanent home. With his wife and children securely situated in their new home, Mirwais commuted to Kabul to work as a construction laborer five days a week. He spent the other two days living with his family and working on his own garden plots.
With his newly generated income, Mirwais could now purchase 22 chickens, from which his wife collects the eggs to eat and sell. Later in the year, through UMCOR’s Sustainable Agriculture and Development project, Mirwais’ family received goats to supplement their steadily increasing livelihood.
“I will hopefully be able to use the goats’ milk to make and sell yogurt in the local market,” Mirwais stated. “UMCOR’s help was very good and timely and useful. If this organization had not helped me, I would have had to leave my home and return to Pakistan with my family,” Mirwais explained. Grateful for the opportunities and resources provided by the UMCOR, Mirwais now sees a brighter future for himself and his family in Afghanistan.
How You Can Help
UMCOR began working in Afghanistan in 2002. UMCOR's programs help the people of Afghanistan recover from decades of conflict and years of drought. Programs in reconstruction, income generation, health and education, emergency response and intervention all work together to help those returning Afghanistan to build a new life.