Providing medical services to isolated communities.
Spirit Aid has been working in this beleaguered, war-torn country since 2002. Afghanistan is the poorest country in the world outside of Africa.
The lifespan of an adult in Afghanistan is 43 for men and 45 for women.
2 out of every 5 children are dead before their fifth birthday.
Only 17% of Afghans have access to Education.
Only 13% have access to Health Services.
Only 5% have access to fresh drinking water.
Afghanistan is one of the most heavily land-mined countries in the world.
Since 2002, Spirit Aid has been providing medical services to isolated communities, refugee camps, prisons and women’s groups in the mountains of Northern Afghanistan. When David Hayman first went to the area, in 2002, he discovered that those communities had not seen a doctor in 24 years.
Afghanistan is the poorest country in the world outside of Africa. Two out of every five children are dead by the age of five. Maternal mortality rates are among the highest in the world. The country has been devastated by war, poverty and drought. It is no surprise that health provision is seriously lacking in vast areas of the country. Many people live far from clinics and hospitals, and doctors have to be paid for their service and patients also pay for medicines.
Each of our mobile clinics has a doctor, a midwife, a pharmacist and a driver, all Afghans. We also have a dentist on the team. We employ fourteen Afghan medics and staff, who, six days a week, drive into the mountain areas of the Hindu Kush to provide free medical services. This is a dangerous job in the inhospitable territory. Much of the country is under the control of the Taliban who prohibit Western NGO’s from operating. Our vehicles are unmarked and we carry no weapons. The teams have to be back in our compound before dark because of the dangers.
In our compound, we run a small school for 24 pupils. This provides extracurricular lessons in English, Mathematics, Science and IT Studies, all at the request of the students.
Our Executive Director is Dr. Din Mohammad, Project Leader is Dr. Allah Mohammad and our Chief Medical Officer is Dr. Naji.
David Hayman has visited Afghanistan nine times since his first visit in 2002.
Our partners in Afghanistan who have given us invaluable help in the past have been the Halo trust and mercy corps, to whom we are indebted.
At the request of the ten Chiefs, we started a feeding programme for the pupils attending the High School. Higher Education in Malawi is not compulsory, or free, as pupils have to pay school fees of £18 per year. In a barter economy that is extremely difficult for most families and leads to many young people leaving school too early to achieve anything. Spirit Aid currently has around fifty scholarships to Milonde High School. We pay the school fees for families that cannot afford them.
Many pupils have to walk up to two hours to reach school without having had a breakfast, followed by two hours walk home for the only meal of the day. We provided a lunch of Maize, Beans and Vegetables. The school role has gone from 280 pupils to 500. Pass marks have gone from an average of 12% to 96%. And over a period of three years, eleven graduates are now primary School teachers working in the area. Four have become Police officers, two Health and Welfare officers and one a Midwife.
We have added new teacher houses and increased the number of staff. We have installed Solar Power in the school enabling pupils to study when night falls at 6 o’clock. Since we supplied computers, teachers and pupils are now being trained in IT skills.
The girl’s dormitory has been improved with lights, windows and better security along with a new kitchen and washroom. Bunk beds were built, twenty-four of them. The girls now have much better living conditions and much-needed privacy.
Milonde High School, regarded as a ‘Bush School’ in Malawi, is now the second highest performing school in the country. The Minister for Education visited the school last year to find out how the remarkable transformation came about, and it’s all down to Lunch!