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Widows' Kitchen Garden Project - an invitation

  • Subject: [cg] Widows' Kitchen Garden Project - an invitation
  • From: Yvonne <saloufki@yahoo.com>
  • Date: Fri, 8 Mar 2002 04:00:22 -0800 (PST)

Widows' Kitchen Garden Project: A Legacy of
Enduring Hope
City of Kabul, Afghanistan
Proposal to all Community Gardens and gardeners
Afghanistan is fast becoming a nation of widows
and orphans.  The bombing continues, the country
is in turmoil, and humanitarian aid is a
crapshoot at best. You can literally change the
lives of thousands of people, not just for today
or this year but also for many years to come with
a very small donation to a very simple project.
In researching the organizations that work on the
ground in Afghanistan, I have developed a
relationship with Mary MacMackin, a physical
therapist who has worked inside Afghanistan since
the 1960's, teaching and training Physical
Therapists.  Mary moved down to Kabul, the
capital of Afghanistan, in 1996, and seeing the
plight of the widows in Kabul founded her
non-governmental organization, PARSA,
(parsa-afghanistan.org) to help these women help
themselves through handicraft projects and craft
and clothing development initiatives. One of the
projects PARSA implemented in 2000 was a widow's
home garden project funded by the Beatrice Laing
Trust a charity of the United Kingdom. Mary
initiated training projects for widows' sons and
a women’s' wool co-operative in which
economically vulnerable women can spin and market
yarn to carpet makers in Kabul.  PARSA has
financially supported over forty women teachers
so they can teach girls at home.  These home
schools were forbidden by the Taliban but the
teachers managed to evade detection and
punishment so that girls could have a chance at a
better life when they grow up.
Mary and I have discussed the following project
to help the widows:

The Kitchen Garden Project would consist of the
following through a one-time cash donation of
only $80.00:
A new hand pump for home well      $50.00
Day labor to install pump and
    Repair waterlines ($3/day)       9.00
Seeds for 6-8 varieties              1.00
Rootstock for grapevines and
    Fruit tree saplings             10.00
Money for tools/implements          10.00
Total:                           $  80.00
These materials are available in Pakistan and
Afghanistan and are cheaper than shipping from
outside the area.  We have the ability to support
a family for a very long time on less than what
most people spend on junkfood for a month.  I
have learned that flood irrigation is common in
these gardens.  Fruit trees do well and provide
shade.  A family of five or so can survive quite
nicely with their kitchen gardens and in a good
year, can produce enough fruits to market, as
If each community garden board donated one
Kitchen Garden kit, we could provide the basic
supplies to support thousands of families next
season and for many seasons to come.  Mary will
be coming to the States in late May and June when
I look forward to meeting her.   In the meantime,
if you are not a member of the American Community
Garden Association, join up now.  Like this
project, a very small amount of money provides an
enormous service not only to you but for
generations to come.  Then please send a check or
money order to PARSA's US holder of funds:
Barbara Bick, 1829 Phelps Place, N.W.,
Washington, D.C. 20008.  
I'd loved to hear from those of you who are
joining us in re-visioning Afghanistan.  My email
address is yvonne@owol.net.  Mary and I and all
our friends in Afghanistan wish you good health.

We can leave a legacy of something more durable
than broken lives through this project.  Not only
will we be planting seeds of food for the
short-term but also creating longterm bonds of
hope, compassion, friendship and love.  There is
nothing stronger. 
PS:  Mary tells me that the heavy snows of the
winter bode well for good crops this summer.  In
Afghanistan "snow is gold."
Yvonne Scott
Albuquerque, NM
PS:  The following late-breaking news may inspire
you even more to join our circle of support:

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