Peace activist delivering aid to Afghan refugees

Maya with two Afghan refugees
Maya with two Afghan refugees

A PEACE activist from St Leonards is part of a contingent of peace campaigners who will be delivering much-needed aid this week to impoverished refugees in a camp in Afghanistan

Maya Evans, 34, is currently in the war-torn country working with members of the peace group Voices for Creative Non Violence UK, who have raised thousands of pounds towards aid, which is to be delivered to Chaman-e Barbak refugee camp in the capital Kabul.

The camp is the second biggest in the city, home to more than 700 families who are among some of the poorest people in the world.

Maya and her contingent are distributing flour, oil and sugar, which will be divided into portions to last each family through the toughest months of the year in Afghanistan where temperatures plummet to around minus 16C.

The peace campaigner said: “It’s extremely shocking to see that despite 13 years of a full-scale international presence, where at least £37 billion and $100 billion has been spent by the UK and US governments alone, people are still living in some of the worst conditions in the world, with children walking around without adequate footwear and clothing, open sewers running alongside homes which are basic mud huts, and piles of rubbish next to homesteads. It’s so depressing.

“Most of the money poured into this country has gone towards war, which hasn’t brought the country much closer to peace or improved living conditions. The Afghans I speak to say they are tired of war and want an end to foreign involvement. People are tired and war weary. It’s time to end the violence.”

She said it was the third year that aid has been delivered to the camp from funds raised by UK peace groups and added within that period there has been no visible improvements made to the living conditions of the camp.

In addition the Chaman-e Barbak refugee camp experienced a devastating fire last week. It left 70 people without homes during the coldest period of the year.

Following the blaze immediate aid was delivered to the camp in the form of duvets for all the affected families. These were provided by the Afghan Peace Volunteers.

Maya and film-maker Janey Moffatt left 1066 Country for Afghanistan at the beginning of last month to make a documentary highlighting the plights of ordinary Afghan women and childbirth.

The pair visited a woman’s refuge, a refugee camp and a clinic during their visit to the capital Kabul and its outskirts.

Janey returned to Hastings on December 17.