I want to visit displaced families, to hear their stories, to see the conditions they are living in and to find out how we can help. These people have been displaced by heavy fighting in Helmand province and have been forced to flee for their lives. I don’t even know how to begin to describe how they live. They build up mud walls, run some wooden branches or poles across the top of the wall and then use a tarp or sheet of plastic for a roof. When it rains it becomes a mud bath, there is no running water or sanitation, ablutions are done in the alleyways, the smell and filth is indescribable.
There are some 1,200 families with more than 4,000 children trying to survive here, they are not receiving assistance or help and are living in conditions that would hardly be fit for animals. There is snow on the mountains not that far away and the winter nights can be bitterly cold if not freezing.
I come across a young scruffy boy who is busy on his knees in a muddy alley looking for something, my interpreter speaks with him, he is collecting scraps of Naan (Afghan bread) that have been thrown out into the alleys, the few pieces he has collected are hard and filthy, this young boy is desperate. I enter the mud wall home of one family, a young man of 24 years is lying on the floor, he has been crippled from multiple shots to his legs, next to him is his 10 year old sister who lost her arm in a bombing, her name is Guljuma, there are a few children lying around on the floor, there are no smiles or laughter but rather a look of hopelessness.
This is why we are here, to bring hope.