GULDARA DISTRICT, Kabul Province – Farmer Wazir Gul, 43, from Tolat village examines the nicked and shriveled grape vines damaged by hail in the spring and drought in the summer. He looks doubtful that he will have enough good grapes to sell to support his family.
Although Wazir Gul cultivates 150 grape vines, he receives the yields of only 30 of them as the vines are shared among his four brothers and their families. Nonetheless, Wazir Gul does not despair; from previous experience, he knows first-hand how helpful the community grain bank is. He explains, “A few months ago during Ramadan, my wife became very sick. I didn’t have money for both food and medicine. I couldn’t risk letting my wife’s condition worsen, but I also couldn’t let the children go hungry.”
Aware of the plight of Gul and his family, the community grain bank in his village, a philanthropic community food reserve initiated under the Citizens’ Charter Afghanistan Project (Citizens’ Charter), leapt into action and distributed food and other basic necessities to Gul and other food insecure families like his.
“When I found out our family’s name was with the grain bank, I was so relieved and happy because they brought food to our home and I could buy medicine for my wife,” says Wazir Gul.
Villagers, like Wazir Gul, with small farms are particularly vulnerable to natural disasters, such as hail storm. “Even a small shock can adversely affect their livelihood," says Saleh Mohammad Samit, Head of Vulnerable Groups Division of the Citizens’ Charter. “The grain bank is designed and established particularly for such situations—to assist people in dire need of help.”