Item 30 – Change a Life – Kabul

CHANGE A LIFE. Playing with friends, going to school, or just spending time with family… for most children, that’s what the fabric of “normal” life looks like. But for the children of Afghanistan, “normal” life is also one where explosions and gunfire could rip their world apart at any moment, killing or maiming them and their loved ones. In the past 20 years, Afghan children have lived their entire lives in the shadow of the war, where air raid sirens are as commonplace as bedtime stories and they are more likely to be a victim than even a soldier— because when it comes to the destruction of war, it doesn’t matter how old you are. Bombs don’t discriminate. Neither do bullets.

90% of the victims of contemporary war are civilians, and though the western forces are withdrawing from Afghanistan, that’s actually exacerbating the danger to civilians. According to the U.N., Afghan civilians were killed or injured at record levels in the first half of 2021, with thousands wounded and over 1,600 civilians killed to date. 34% of those were children. As western forces withdraw and internal conflict between north and south escalates, those numbers are expected to rise and more children will be killed or experience devastating, life-changing injury.

Mdullah is such a child. Just 5 years old, he was walking to school when the bombs struck. Giles tells us how traumatic it was to wake up at age 39 realizing he had lost both his legs—no one should have to experience that, but especially not a 5 year old child! But that’s what Mdullah is experiencing. To compound matters, his parents cannot even visit the hospital to comfort him due to COVID restrictions. Innocent victims like Mdullah are who we will be helping.

YOUR MISSION. In partnership with Random Acts, Legacy of War, and EMERGENCY, we’re setting a goal of raising $100,000 to operate the children’s ward of EMERGENCY fully through the end of this year. EMERGENCY is an NGO and charity hospital that ensures all victims of conflict receive free, quality medical care. 1 in 4 Afghans have been treated by EMERGENCY, and as the west pulls out of Afghanistan the need for this hospital, especially their children’s ward, is expected to be greater than ever. No child should have to suffer from the effects of war, but together, we’ll be able to help 400-500 children to survive and heal. Join us and help ensure that humanitarian aid can be rendered to the most innocent of victims of war.

WHAT TO DO: Create a team fundraiser page here by clicking “Become A Fundraiser” and get at least 10 donations of a minimum of $10. WE ARE NOT ASKING YOU OR YOUR TEAMMATES TO DONATE. Rather, we ask that you reach out to the global community and your social networks to make a contribution. Then, submit a screenshot of your fundraiser showing 10 donations and the total amount donated to us for your points.

WHAT YOUR DONATIONS DO: Your donations will fund EMERGENCY’s children’s hospital so it can continue to treat children injured by war throughout 2021. This will allow the hospital, built on the grounds of a bombed kindergarten, to continue operation through the end of the year and help approximately 400-500 children through surgery, medical care, and rehabilitation. Because we’re GISH, we’re also setting aside funds to provide a stuffed animal to every child that is treated by emergency to act as an emotional support plushie. As so many of these child patients are orphaned or have parents that cannot visit them in hospital due to COVID restrictions, it’s our hope that this additional support will provide a little extra comfort.

Our GISH Ambassador, Giles, hadn’t returned to Afghanistan for 9 years due to his own personal traumas, but felt it was important to summon the courage to go back now to help share these children’s stories and assist them. We invite you to rise up as well to help us achieve our goal and support these kids and the good medical professionals who are working to help them heal. DONATIONS ARE 100% TAX-DEDUCTIBLE (for countries other than the U.S., deductions are contingent on your laws). 90% of the donations will benefit the Change-A-Life efforts with 10% to Random Acts’ General Fund to support random acts of kindness all over the world.

Donations are still accepted on our campaign page!

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