‘Afghanistan’s problems are complicated, but not unsolvable,’ says Dr. Richard Manning, President and CEO of Be Team International. Having lived in Kabul for nearly a decade among the local population and worked the past 15 years with the staff of the Cure Hospital, he is speaking from experience.
When asked, ‘Why support Afghanistan?’ Dr. Manning continues. “Nowhere else in the world has a country been a battlefield for so long leaving a devastating impact on children, mothers and fathers, and families. We believe that it’s our humanitarian duty to help these wonderful people avail themselves of basic medical care to which most of the world has access. With our support, the hospital provides a source of income for over 300 Afghan families, while they have cared for nearly one million Afghan patients.”
Manning is quick to add that this economic fact is the least remarkable part the hospital’s story. “It is shocking to consider that nearly every one of the hospital’s 320 staff, because of the wars, has spent a significant part of their life as a refugee in Pakistan. It is even more shocking to consider what has happened to many of the hospital staff over the 15 years I have known them.
“They have endured kidnappings, illegal incarcerations, children killed in their schools, couples killed on their wedding night, houses burned down, just to name a few. One of our doctors had his new car stolen while a gun barrel was pressed against his head.”
“Through this tragedy, it is incredibly inspiring to see what this group of Afghans have accomplished. As refugees, they obtained educations and earned medical and nursing degrees. As fully trained healthcare professionals, they show up for work every day, which is no small feat. Not only do they go to work, but they excel at what they do. These professionals could easily immigrate to another country to avoid the daily security threats and challenges of working in a resource constrained environment, and yet they stay in Afghanistan.”
Why do they stay?
“They stay because they realize that a great opportunity lies before them. They stay because they feel blessed to have received the skills and knowledge passed on to them. They stay because they want to be part of the solution to restore their nation’s healthcare system. They stay because they love their people. These resilient Afghan survivors are modern-day heroes who need your help.”
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