A PEACE campaigner spent her Christmas in war-torn Afghanistan, meeting refugees and other citizens affected by the conflict.
Maya Evans, of Carisbrooke Road, St Leonards, led an all-women peace delegation, the first from the UK since the war started in 2001.
The group from Voices for Creative Non-violence UK travelled to Kabul at the invitation of the Afghan Peace Volunteers (APV), a group of young Afghans committed to promoting peace in their country.
Maya went out on December 16 and returned to 1066 Country on January 2.
During her visit she spent time at a refugee camp meeting displaced people and went to a centre for visually impaired children run by volunteers.
Maya said: “The APV are keen to make known the realities of life in Afghanistan, a country with a shattered infrastructure and a huge number of displaced people. “It is also committed to doing positive work to help improve the lives of people. They’ve recently started a project providing materials for Afghan women to make duvets with.”
The campaigner said while she was in Afghanistan she met a woman who had lost her two teenage sons in a suicide bombing attack.
Maya said: “Our delegation was fairly safe during our visit but there are suicide bomb attacks almost daily in the streets in Kabul.”
She also visited the country over Christmas in 2011 spending almost a month meeting people affected by the ravages of war.
Maya added: “When you walk down the street in Kabul and look into people’s eyes you can feel they’ve experienced pain and loss you can never imagine.
“Afghanistan is a nation of broken people who, like us, want to just get on and lead a peaceful life. They’re exhausted by the last 32 years of war, their infrastructure, agriculture, community and way of life is in tatters. I feel obliged to do all I can to pressurise our government to end its involvement in prolonged suffering.”