During chilly Kabul mornings, last winter, the yard outside the Afghan Peace Volunteer (APV) home became a hub of colorful and bustling activity as mothers, children, and young APVs participated in “the duvet project.” Thank you to the many people from afar who offered encouragement and contributed funds. We hope you’ll continue to support this vital project during the coming months.
Duvets are heavy blankets, stuffed with wool, which can make the difference between life and death during Kabul’s extremely harsh winters. The Afghan Peace Volunteers coordinated manufacture and distribution of three thousand duvets, at no cost to recipients, during the winter of 2013-14. Along with bringing needed warmth to destitute families, the project invited people from different walks of life to work together.
60 women in all, 20 from each of three different ethnic groups- Hazara, Pashto and Tajik, -earned a living wage by making the duvets. In a society where women have few if any economic opportunities, this money helped women put food on the table and shoes on their children’s feet. The women would arrive, often accompanied by a young son, to pick up coverlet material, wool and thread. Days later each woman would return with two completed duvets. The duvets were then delivered to people living in refugee camps, widows and orphans with no breadwinner in the home, families of children who’ve become part of an APV “street kids” program, needy families of students who are visually impaired, and disabled people living in Kabul.
The generosity of numerous supporters enabled the APVs to purchase supplies, rent space for storage and distribution, and pay wages plus transportation expenses for the women who manufactured the duvets.
The project has been well documented over the past two years. Photos and videos are available at: http://ourjourneytosmile.com/
Any support you could offer to the duvet project this year will be most welcome. Checks can be made payable to Voices for Creative Nonviolence, (VCNV), and mailed to VCNV at 1249 W. Argyle Street, Chicago, IL 60640. Please write “duvet project” in the memo section.
If you’re sending funds via Pay Pal as below, please make sure that you inform Douglas Mackey at firstname.lastname@example.org
To donate to the Duvet Project via PayPal, sign into your PayPal account and submit the funds to email identity “email@example.com”. One-hundred percent of the funds go directly to the Duvet Project of the Afghan Peace Volunteers, with no administrative expenses.
Please let us know if there is any way that we could assist with outreach, in your community, on behalf of the duvet project.
Kathy Kelly, Co-coordinator Voices for Creative Nonviolence
Dr. Hakim Afghan Peace Volunteers