Tailoring Help Following Tragedy
Wali (right) with his son (left) and an ACAP II employee (center) in his tailoring shop Every year hundreds of children in Afghanistan become innocent victims of the conflict. The Afghan Civilian Assistance Program provides help to families who have suffered losses because of the fighting between coalition forces and insurgents.
Thirteen-year-old Zabeehullah was out playing in the street with his friends after school when he was shot dead by the Taliban, who were targeting coalition soldiers. The program helped Zabeehullah’s family, providing them with food and household items as well as a large stock of cloth for their tailoring shop.
Aside from the acute emotional pain of losing a child, families in Afghanistan often look to younger members to contribute to their income and for sons to become breadwinners in the future, so the death or injury of a child can spell economic hardship.
Zabeehullah’s father Wali, who works a tailor, said his business is now thriving. His monthly family income has risen by a third. This will help him save money and provide for his family who live in Kunar, in the east of Afghanistan. “I feel happy now and appreciate the help from this program,” he said. “I plan to grow my business and support my children in their education.” He added, “Zebeehullah would help me in the shop after school. I was training him.”
The program will also provide psychosocial counseling for Wali’s family, helping them to cope with their grief. Wali said: “Losing my son was the worst memory of my life. My family has been greatly affected by this incident mentally.”
The Afghan Civilian Assistance Program has helped more than 11,000 families across the country since 2007. All eligible families receive food and household items. Those who suffer more serious losses also receive further help tailored to their circumstances. The focus is on helping them to rebuild their lives and earn a sustainable income. The program also provides medical treatment and counseling to victims.
The Afghan Civilian Assistance Program is funded by USAID Afghanistan and implemented by IRD.