I am back in Afghanistan, a totally different Afghanistan than I have ever seen before: the dry and dusty land I remembered is surprisingly green. There has been enough rain this year so the hills are carpeted with grass and grain, farmers plow their lands, goats and sheep happily jig around. It looks idyllic.
Burkhas are still used. The rural areas have no electricity yet and security has worsened.There are more clinics, but few medicaments available for the sick or injured. Serious cases must be treated in the cities. And renting a car is expensive.
I am staying with the Czech NGO People in Need; their main office is in Mazar-e-Sharif but their projects take place in rural areas. They have funds for work and livelihood projects, agriculture workshops, and the construction of new schools and granaries in these rural areas.
The funds for work projects, for example helps farmers with cash until a new crop will be harvested. Livelihood projects provide workshops for men as well as for women in different skills.
I also continue with my own work. I continue with the portraits series, but I am not using my “portable studio”: the background is so pictorial it would be a shame not to use it.
I am off in couple minutes to the field so I will continue when I am back in Mazar-e-Sharif.