I first learned of the charity, Afghans for Afghans, when all of the news of 9/11 first started. The bleakness of the mountainous areas where families and children lived, infrastructure, etc. was so difficult to imagine living in that I started following information online about this charity. They accept only homemade knit or crocheted items (no scarves - must have been deluged with them!), wool preferred but not necessary. The winters are apparently very harsh and deadly and shelter is not that warm in the country.
By just typing in their site and getting on the e-mail list, they show many photos and much information about the families and orphanages actually receiving the items so I have no doubts about some middle person or chieftain being middle person.
Shipments are made every few months. We send our completed items to a warehouse in San Francisco, where it is gone through, packed appropriately and then sent to Afghanistan. The Quaker people have a part in one leg of this journey - sorry, don't know if it is the first or second part. Once in the country, another humanitarian group is responsible for distribution and a wonderful job they do. They ask that nothing white be sent as dirt shows so badly, no religious symbols be knit into the item, and lastly, that the Afghan people love the color green. Once you see that they have no grass, trees, etc., you understand right away why they love green!
I have 4th stage breast cancer but am an avid knitter, etc. and feel this is something I can do that really can make a difference. I have sent afghans and a sweater or two and socks. We got an 'emergency' e-mail last winter that an orphanage for children up to 15 yrs. of age had been located in Kabul and they were in desperate need of warm knit clothing. I had made a pair of socks for myself out of your Wool-Ease and had made them a bit too short (wanted to wear them too fast!). I popped them in a bag and off they went to San Francisco on their way to Kabul. I believe there are photos on their website that show many of these happier children.
There are people that don't respond when I tell them who I knit for. It shouldn't be a political situation that families and children go cold and sick because of things that are out of their control, especially the children. I hope that you can pass the word out about this organization!
Another wonderful person, Tina Shaddox from Charitable Knitters in Duluth Minnesota, sent me a box full to the top of quality wool from manufacturers that donate to her group so that I can keep knitting socks and anything else for these people. That is another wonderful group and they are able to get together and work on projects for their own metropolitan area.
Thanks for listening! So many of us love this hobby, if all could make one thing for someone in need, I think that is how the world will start beginning to understand each other!