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"Warmth and Hope: How Humanitarian Aid Transformed Lives in Kabul's Winter"

A success story from Stalif district

In the frigid winter of Kabul province, Mr. Gul Shah, a 55-year-old resident of Kargardi village in Estalif district, found himself facing immense challenges. Unemployed and living in a humble house with ten family members, he struggled to provide enough food and fuel for his loved ones. The burden of purchasing warm winter clothes for his children seemed insurmountable. With tears in his eyes, he shared his hardships, aiming for a glimmer of hope.

Gul Shah, already battling illness himself, lived with his wife and eight children, including three boys under 18 and five girls. One of his daughters, Bibi Hawa, 13 years old, suffered from severe anemia, adding to the family's worries. Their dwelling, a dilapidated mud house, was not even their own property, exacerbating their vulnerable situation.

Previously, Gul Shah earned his livelihood as a daily wage laborer, working in construction. However, the onset of winter and the sluggish construction market, combined with his own health issues, left him unable to provide for his family's needs. This winter presented an array of daunting challenges.

Gul Shah shared that the meager amount of money he had borrowed for winter fuel lasted only two weeks, barely keeping their house warm enough to shield his children from the bitter cold. But now, he found himself without the means to purchase winter clothes and fuel. Huddled together in a single room, the family relied on gathering firewood from the fields and hills for heating, but even that resource had become scarce.

In response to the dire circumstances faced by families like Gul Shah's, ActionAid, Afghanistan with financial support from the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA), initiated the Winterization Project in Estalif and Farza districts of Kabul province. The project aimed to provide cash assistance to 1517 deserving families, enabling them to purchase fuel, winter clothes, and blankets.

Gul Shah's gratitude knew no bounds when he received a cash grant of $331 through this project. Overwhelmed with emotion, he expressed, "This support has infused hope into our lives during our darkest times. With this assistance, I can keep my family warm and well-fed throughout the harsh months ahead."

Expressing his gratitude for the cash support from the ActionAid, Gul Shah said, "After receiving the money, I used part of it to repay my debts. With the remaining amount, I bought fuel, winter clothes, and blankets for my children and family members. Now, I can face this cold winter with peace of mind, knowing that my family is taken care of."

This heartwarming story highlights how a small but significant aid package can transform the lives of those in need. Through the Winterization Project, Gul Shah and 1517 other families in Kabul province experienced the warmth of compassion and the power of collective action. Their journey from cold and despair to comfort and hope serves as a testament to the impact that humanitarian efforts can have on vulnerable communities.

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