Archive for April, 2012

On the Edge of Precipice: My Journey by Horseback to Afghanistan’s Most Remote Villages

Posted on Friday, April 20th, 2012 at 8:34 am

By Peter Wilson, Program Support Officer, Afghanistan

As the warmth of springtime settles across North America and Europe, northern Afghanistan is just now thawing from what many consider to be the worst winter in living memory – the destruction it leaves behind will be felt for some time to come. In February this year, stories emerged that children were dying in Kabul’s displacement camps because of the extreme cold, while in Badakhshan, a province in the far northeast corner of the country, heavy snowfall triggered catastrophic avalanches, burying entire villages in feet of snow.

Concern Worldwide’s emergency response team delivers fodder to 2,000 households by donkeys and horses to remote villages in Badakhshan Province.

However, little has been told about what the people of Badakhshan endured this winter and how they continue to be at-risk as the snow begins to melt. This is largely because it is so incredibly difficult to access. An extremely remote and mountainous region, communities in Badakhshan can be entirely cut off from the outside world for up to seven months a year. Most villages can only be reached by horseback or foot across treacherous paths dotted with ravines, rockslides, and landslides. Read the rest of this entry »

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Cambodia’s Rice Banking System

Posted on Wednesday, April 4th, 2012 at 1:08 pm

By Moire O’Sullivan, Assistant Country Director Programs, Concern Worldwide Cambodia

Today, Dok Sareth went to the bank. He came home with a bag of rice.

“Before the rice bank was set up, I had to borrow rice seed to plant my rice crop,” Sareth told me on a visit to his village.  “Every time I borrowed, I had to repay the loan with a 100 percent interest rate.  Now because of the rice bank set up with Concern’s support, the villagers can help each other and the interest rate is much more affordable.  It has made a huge difference to my life and I am extremely grateful.”

Local farmer Dok Sareth proudly shows off his rice bank. Conor Wall / July 2011 / Pursat, Cambodia

The people who Concern works with in Cambodia depend heavily on rain-fed rice production for their income. They are rural farmers who grow and sell rice on the small amounts of land that they own. Those without land work on other farmers’ paddy fields for a small daily allowance. Read the rest of this entry »

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