Sahar currently serves 25,000 girls in Afghanistan yearly. During the pandemic we are launching a COVID 19 response campaign that needs your support so that we can provide timely assistance to a population that does not have adequate access to healthcare. Our Afghan team will provide health education about the virus including hygiene and social distancing within the cultural and family structures. We will also purchase PPEs and soap from female entrepreneurs and distribute them to those in need.
Poverty, unemployment, and inadequate healthcare infrastructure are daily realities for Afghans, putting them at high risk for COVID. It is projected that 85% of population will contract COVID. Over 200,000 refugees have returned to Afghanistan from Iran; it is likely a number of returned them will settle in the rural villages where Sahar's programs are conducted. Though the number of confirmed cases is low, most predict the number is far larger due to lack of testing.
Empowering communities with education is an important part of our programs and mission. Sahar's COVID-19 response provides resources and information to families and children in need to help limit the spread of COVID-19 using the relationships we have cultivated with communities for nearly 20 years. With the tools and knowledge to prevent the spread of COVID and help keep families safe, we hope the communities we serve will lessen the spread of the virus in the semi-rural communities we serve.
The project will empower families and individuals to take actions against the spread of COVID-19 in semi-rural Northern Afghanistan, saving lives for those who have limited access to an already overstretched and underfunded healthcare system. By staying connected to the families we serve, we hope to help children, especially girls, get back to school more quickly. The gendered impact of COVID-19 means that girls are at a higher risk of child marriage and not returning to school when they reopen.