After more than 20 years of war in Afghanistan, millions of homes have been destroyed. Shelter Now is working with the returning refugees to rebuild entire villages. These are known as "Villages of Hope"...
To encourage people and give them fresh hope for the future by taking a new approach. This is the Shelter Now vision for the Villages of Hope. Once again it's about helping others to help themselves in an area where it is urgently needed.
The refugees that return to Afghanistan receive instruction and support from our staff to help them rebuild a new life in their destroyed villages; houses are rebuilt, schools are built and opportunities created for local people to receive vocational training or develop a new livelihood in order to enable their financial independence.
The first "Village of Hope" was built using funds from the German Foreign Ministry as well as various donor organizations. The village is called "Sabz Sang", or "Green Stone" and is located on the Shamalie Plain north of Kabul. This fertile plain, located at an altitude of around 1700 meters above sea level, was ransacked by the Taliban at the end of the 1990s. Almost all the fruit plantations were destroyed. Grapevines and fruit trees are once again being planted in the area. Shelter Now is contributing to the effort with its own fruit tree project, helping to make the Shamalie Plain blossom once again.
This project is successfully finished now. We must take care only on the flow of the microcredits. After all families are served with these, we'll receive that money back and can use the funds for new, similar projects.
The people in these villages don't need our help anymore. This is encouraging.
Taliban fighters recaptured the Shamalie Plain from the Northern Alliance in 1999. The Taliban accused the local people of collaborating with the Northern Alliance and killed many of the men. They destroyed the houses and fruit plantations and threw stones or grenades into many of the wells and irrigation systems. The survivors were forced to flee. Thousands of them went to Pakistan, ending up in the refugee camps set up and run by Shelter Now. They received food and there Shelter Now helped them to build houses so they would not have to live in tents. We were often asked at that time whether we would help them rebuild their villages back home, should peace ever return to Afghanistan. Thus the idea for "Villages of Hope" was born.