For the first time a centre to care for the handicapped has opened in Herat province – an example of the humanitarian nature of Afghan society.
This centre was built by the Pir-e Herat Foundation and assisted by the donations from the international community.
Abdul Ali Barakzai, head of the foundation, describing the project to Sada-e Azadi, said, “This modern building has 50 beds to care for the handicapped persons whose families don’t have the ability to take care of them. The construction budget of this facility was 98,000 euros, which was provided by the Provincial Reconstruction Team in Herat. The centre has 750 square metres of space to look after male and female patients.”
Barakzai explained this new care facility will provide more than medical care. “This facility is a centre of hope for the handicapped and provides many recreational programmes, including sports, English language and handicraft classes, computer training as well as Holy Quran classes.” The centre will strive to bring positive changes to the lives of handicapped persons and help them become useful citizens of the country, he added.
Safiullah Noori, a member of the Pir-e Herat Foundation, describing his experience as a handicapped man, said he had faced many difficulties in life. Now he is very happy because he has a place which belongs to the people like him, where they can lead a better life. “In the past, we were faced with great difficulty and with lots of sadness because we were very disappointed at our situation. I used to think that people didn’t care about us.”
Since joining the Pir-e Herat Foundation and his life was completely changed. “Now we have our own hospice and there is someone to care for us. There are many facilities to keep our spirits up and classes to learn new things. Our doors are open especially to those whose families cannot afford to care for them. There is no discrimination against anyone. We have lots of capability to care for the needy.”
Cooperative projects between community foundations and the international community have been a hallmark of the last decade and the combined efforts to build a strong and equitable country. Mr Noori concluded, “We are members of society and we want to help build our new Afghanistan as well.”