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Hope on four hooves

By Prayer team | 16 Sep 2016

Was your dad ever your hero? For years, Husein* was just that for his wife and eight children. Every day he would climb mountains to collect heavy piles of wood to make a living.

Was your dad ever your hero? For years, Husein* was just that for his wife and eight children. Every day he would climb mountains to collect heavy piles of wood to make a living.

The family had spent years as refugees in Pakistan. When they returned home to Chiras, a village in Afghanistan, life was very hard. ‘We had to start all over again,’ Husein explains, ‘We could hardly provide the daily needs for our families.’ Eventually Husein became too old and weak to climb the mountains and carry wood. Without an alternative livelihood, their situation seemed hopeless.

Here to Serve

But, thanks to your support and prayers, Tearfund partner Serve Afghanistan was able to help. They gave one goat to each of the 50 poorest families in the village, along with training in animal care and using goat’s milk.

A year later, Husein’s goat gave birth to two baby goats. One was given back to the project, while Husein kept the other. ‘My goat then gave birth again,’ says Husein proudly. He now has 11 goats and one ‘billy goat’ to hire out for breeding.

A brighter future

Things are now very different in Chiras village. Children have improved nutrition thanks to the fresh milk. As the community has become more skillful in making and selling milk products, such as cheese, families can now afford to send their children to school. Importantly the villagers know that, although initially supported by Serve Afghanistan, they have worked through the problems of poverty themselves, and they are now leading the programme.

‘My whole family is so thankful for these changes in our lives!’ says Husein. ‘We can’t imagine how things would have been if Serve Afghanistan had not come to our area.’

* Name changed to protect identity

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Written by

Written by Prayer team

The rather mysteriously named Prayer Team is made up of a number of writers working closely with country and development experts in the UK and overseas.