I am amazed at and inspired by the resiliency of people, particularly women. Too often disdained, those who exist in a world of poverty, insecurity, displacement, and other monumental disadvantages find ways to survive and thrive. They get up each morning and face the day with courage and resolve, partially because they have to, but mostly because they choose to live. We see them as victims of circumstances, but they are so much more. Their super hero power, in a real world, is survival.
The women we work with in the internally displaced persons (IDP) camps in Afghanistan are moms, with all of the maternal instincts, worries, and cares of moms all over the world. Their lives, enormously more challenged, are still familiar. We share the human experience in a way that may be startling to some. Cultural differences aside, we are much more alike than we are different.
Our vocational skills training program is filled with women of extraordinary character and will to succeed. One of our teachers said, “I am an example of an Afghan woman who works. I am a widow and I have seven children. If I don’t work, who will support my family? My children go to school now because of my income.” A twenty-six year old mother of four boys whose husband is addicted to drugs said, “I am coming to these classes to learn skills so that I can help my family.” I suspect we all have experiences with women who, alone, take on the responsibilities and burdens of family for similar reasons. Many of us have reached out with compassion to these heroes in our lives and witnessed spectacular success.
The IDP camps where our women live are places of hopelessness and few opportunities. Forced out of their homes and away from everything that is familiar by violence and insecurity, they are huddled into temporary camps that quickly become permanent. Many have disabled husbands, others have been abandoned by spouses, and still others are widows. In the best of circumstances, their lives are challenged. What could be accomplished if these women had skills that could significantly improve their lives and empower them?
Karadah Project and Afghan women-founded Women Education for Better Tomorrow Organization, believe that with a bit of help these women can pull themselves out of poverty. What would a hand reached into the shadows of a faraway place mean? Perhaps everything.
If you would like to help, please visit our campaign site at:
LTC (retired) Rick Burns founded Karadah Project to support peace, stability, and humanitarian efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan after Army deployments to those countries. We are helping displaced and disadvantaged women move themselves and their families out of poverty.
Karadah Project International
The Karadah Project International is an Iowa 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation committed to building sustainable and long-term solutions in partnership with the people of Iraq and Afghanistan.