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Thursday, December 25, 2008

A very special Christmas wish from Afghanistan

Christmas Day became even more meaningful today with the arrival of special Christmas wishes from the people of Jeloucha, a remote village in Northern Afghanistan.

The real spirit of the season shines through in their words of greeting and appreciation. Quite amazing actually, especially when you consider that the people of Jeloucha are in the midst of a severe food shortage just as winter arrives. Multiple crop failures have left families without food for the winter.

Greetings from Esmat, Qasim, and Asmat, Afghanis working with HOPE International Development Agency, and Habibullah, the Chief of Jeloucha, are a reminder of the real meaning behind giving, especially during the Christmas season.

Esmat, our Afghanistan Coordinator, sends along a very special “thank you” to HOPE donors who responded to our recent call for emergency assistance for people in Jeloucha who had run out of food. Esmat says that many more Afghani families are in urgent need of help as winter sets in. In fact, people are coming to his home and our small office almost every day in search of food. Hunger has already set in as evidenced by stories of entire families sharing a single piece of bread for their supper meal.

Prolonged drought has caused massive crop failures and without help, families will be separated this winter as fathers and sons leave their villages in search of whatever work they can find, wherever they can find it – a difficult and potentially dangerous choice in this region.

As Esmat has told us, many more families need our help this winter or they will surely starve as their meager food supply runs out. A special “end of year gift” of $50 will provide food supplies that will ensure that families stay together and survive until they can plant new crops in the spring.

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