In the case of each village, there are many individual steps involved in turning this vision to reality:
We seek to tailor our assistance to the needs of the individual villages in which we work. We encourage local residents to formulate their needs so that the village can be developed in the way they want through a series of projects we work on with them.
We are now (2007) in our fifth year of working in the Shamalie area and enjoy a good reputation there. We have developed good contacts with many of the villagers. The Sabz Sang "Village of Hope" is a shining example of what can be achieved and it spreads hope to other villages in the region where we have begun working.
We are able to build one school after another for the children. It's great to visit the schools and see them hard at work. They really appreciate the value of education and have an enthusiasm for school that is not often seen in the West.
Various agricultural projects are drawn up together with the village communities. Sometimes a pilot project might not work out, in which case we go back to the drawing board to discuss what we could do differently to improve it. Other projects are an immediate success and can be further developed. It's fascinating to see the faces of the villagers gradually change as they begin to grasp the hope start believing in the future.
There is still a long way to go and the path will not always be smooth. But despite all the problems and the dangers, today we can already say: it has all been worth it! And it continues to be worth it. The vision has become a reality and a sense of hope has been restored to many as a result.
The way is still far and often full of stones. But through all effords and danger we can say: It was worth it! And it's gonna be worth it! A vision becomes reality. We made it giving hope to many Afghans.
Since 2008 there are new noises in the village: the mooing of cows. With small loans from Shelter Now families are able to purchase a cow with a calf. They pay this loan back within 12 to 18 months, then these funds are distributed again as loans to new families.
Meanwhile about 150 families received a microloan. How many cows do the soundscape now we can only estimate. They should have been multiplying assiduously.