We have been truly overwhelmed by the generosity of over 5,600 supporters from across the UK and around the world.
With your support, we have far exceeded our original goal and will be able to provide meaningful support to thousands of the Afghan artisans and families with whom we work. With your support, we have been able to re-open our clinic in Kabul – and we will keep you informed on the other ways that your generous contributions have been put to work helping those who really need it.
We would love to stay in touch. If you haven’t already, please join Turquoise Mountain’s mailing list here so that we can keep you informed about our work in Kabul and elsewhere - we promise to keep updates infrequent and impactful!
During a time of crisis and uncertainty, your support has meant a huge amount and will make a very real difference. Thank you so much, from all of us at Turquoise Mountain.
Update on Turquoise Mountain Afghanistan Programmes – October 2021
In this moment of extreme difficulty for Afghanistan, we have an opportunity to make a real difference. Thank you for making that possible.
Your support has enabled us to resume the most important services for our communities, reopening schools and clinics, and supporting thousands of vulnerable people through education, incomes and healthcare at this most challenging and difficult time.
One of our parents writes “When the government collapsed, and all the schools closed, we felt helpless. The morale of the whole family was hit hard. The reopening of the Turquoise Mountain school has made the children very happy - and all the mothers too! The children are desperate not to miss any more classes.”
Above: Students at our re-opened primary school
With your support, we have:
● Reopened our community health clinic in the heart of Kabul’s Old City – this will allow us to provide approximately 12,000 patient visits for Afghan women and men. Our patients have been over 70% women and girls, with a focus on maternal and family health.
● Reopened our primary school, providing education to boys and girls up to grade six in the local community.
Our students have been writing over the last weeks sharing their thoughts on the reopening of the school:
● “When I come to school, I feel very happy […] I want to become a teacher in the future and like our teachers teach other students so that they are happy with me.”
● “I want to become a doctor in the future. I am very happy that our school has reopened. I was missing our school and I was thinking about our studies. I lost my sleep at night and was always thinking about our studies. I really hope that our school doesn’t close again.”
● “I am very happy that school has reopened […] when I was at home, I wished I could be a bird so that I could fly to a better place to study.”
● “I really hope our school does not get closed again. I want to become an intelligent doctor and serve my fellow countrymen and women. I have a peaceful mind since I returned to school.”
● From a parent: “When I heard that the school had reopened I shouted so loud out of joy that my husband was shocked.”
The clinic has been in particular demand since the crisis. One of our doctors writes: “I saw a patient this week with severe depression and we were able to provide counselling and prescription medication. Her depression had been a challenge for months - as a widow raising six children, she and her family have been living in Kabul since their home was destroyed in the ongoing conflict. The patient seemed really impressed with the service we were able to provide, and promised that she will remain hopeful and strong.”
Turquoise Mountain has almost 200 staff on the ground in Afghanistan, 15 years of community relationships, and the ability to make a direct and immediate difference for the thousands of women, men and children that we support through incomes, education and healthcare. In the wake of recent political events in Afghanistan, we are determined to continue our work where we can, to help as many as we can, as safely as we can.
We recognize that our work will need to continue to adapt in light of the new reality in Afghanistan. But we are in a special position to be able to help so many people with whom we have worked, at their moment of greatest need. This is only possible with generous support of so many individual donors. This is an incredibly important moment, and if we had not been able to act so swiftly, we would have lost this opportunity. Thank you so much.
TURQUOISE MOUNTAIN’S IMPACT IN AFGHANISTAN
During this time of transition, we are dedicated to continuing as much of our work in Afghanistan as we can. Since 2006, we are proud that we have:
● Trained over 6,000 artisans and builders, many of them to mastery-level in their craft
● Restored over 150 historic buildings, including an entire neighbourhood in Kabul’s Old City (pictured left), winning a UNESCO heritage award
● Brought over $12,000,000 in traditional crafts to market
● Built over 50 small artisan businesses, many of which are run by women
● Provided over community-focused health care through over 170,000 patient visits
● Provided primary education and heritage classes to hundreds of children each year
● Shared this work with the wider global community - through major exhibitions and public programs at the Smithsonian Museum in Washington DC, Beit Al-Qur’an in Bahrain, the Museum of Islamic Art in Doha, Leighton House in London, the World Economic Forum at Davos, and the Venice Biennale – reaching millions of visitors.
Above: A UNESCO award-winning restoration in the Old City of Kabul (left); the community of craftsmen and builders with whom we work (right)