By Afghanistan Relief Team (Originally in Dari)
On October 26, 2015, the Hindu Kush mountain range, 160 miles northeast of Kabul, Afghanistan, was the epicenter of a powerful earthquake of 7.5 magnitude. The Afghanistan government declared a state of emergency and dispatched military units to carry out relief. In Kabul, the capital city, buildings began breaking down, sending people to the streets in panic. An estimated 558 people were injured and 115 have lost their lives in Afghanistan, and more than 7,600 homes were destroyed.
Deeply concerned about the affected people, Supreme Master Ching Hai sent a US$28,000, and asked our local Association members to provide aid. Contributing an additional US$12,400, our Afghanistan Association members formed a team and organized a relief effort from November 15 to 30, 2015. We visited a total of 25 villages in the districts of Baharak and Shuhada in Badakhshan Province, some of the most affected areas in northeastern Afghanistan, and identified 80 families in desperate need of humanitarian assistance. To each family, we gave a store voucher worth US$505 for food and other necessities. Within a week, families collected their rations from the store, each ration including rice, flour, peas, beans, vegetable oil, sugar, food packs for children, heating gas cylinders, water buckets, floor mats, blankets and cash AFN 4,056 (about US$60).
The local community warmly welcomed and supported our work, and were receptive to Master’s message of health, peace and compassion as we shared a leaflet describing 10 reasons to be vegan. They wrote a letter of appreciation to Master, saying, “We thank you and your associates for your generous assistance during this difficult time. We heard your lovely message of “Be Vegan, Make Peace” through our Afghan countrymen working with you and for you. We believe it makes a lot of sense that we respect our fellow living beings and show mercy to them by not killing and eating them.”
Expenditures by Supreme Master Ching Hai and Her International Association for Earthquake Relief Work in Badakhshan Province, Afghanistan
|Food (rice, flour, peas, beans, vegetable oil, sugar and food packs for children)||1,054,560||A|
|Supplies (blankets, heating gas cylinders, water buckets, floor mats)||1,352,000|
|Total|| AFN 2,731,040