The health and wellbeing of the children being of primary concern, our family of friends put heads andresources together to stay on top of things. In so doing it has been a month never to be forgotten. In conjunction with a Veterans for Afghanistan fundraiser, NBC Nightly News picked up the story of Kristen Rouse, one of our sponsors. She in turn led Brian Williams and his crew to visit Mehan orphanage, bringing a huge venue of publicity to our cause. The story was featured on October 30th in a prime time segment “People Making a Difference”. Frishta exchanging eyeglasses with Mr. Williams, and Farzana Nori explaining what home is to her with such poise, and of course all the smiling children were captured on film for the world to see. Andeisha’s message was heard loud and clear.

The response has been immense: already 600 individual donations amounting to over $60,000, and 116 new sponsors. This will undoubtedly lead to other stories and further support, but we must remember it is all of you who deserve applause. The part you play whether large or small is what keeps the wheel turning. To see the video from NBC, go to the following link:

http://www.youtube.com/user/haven4kids

With winter approaching, the cost of firewood will undoubtedly go sky high. That is why we had to purchase early. As of now 30 tons of wood have been stored. The three orphanages in Kabul will be warm and toasty, thanks to the main contributors Rose Vines, Doffie Rotters, Natalie Carney, Kristen Rouse and Millie MacCoy, Elisa Messina and Elisabetta Iovino. Warm clothing is of course the next most important need this time of year, and just in time Veterans for Afghanistan held a fundraiser in New York City toward that end. $1,000 dollars was raised and immediately put towards dressing the children for the coming season. 

Another important issue is vaccinations. For some time now we have been trying to acquire a safe and dependable vaccine against Hepatitis B, a disease that has become a grim reality across Afghanistan. We are happy to report that as of October 1st the first round of vaccinations was administered to the children and staff of Mehan, Sitara 1 and Sitara 2 orphanages.

Watan orphanage in Pakistan received the inoculation a few months ago, and the children of Jalalabad orphanage are expected to receive it on November 1st. Doffie Rotter, sponsor of ten children as well as founder of our library contributed to the cost of the complete three rounds it will take to prevent this terrible disease. 

In the meantime we received 92 boxes of supplies, items collected by filmmaker Natalie Carney that include clothing, games, books and an array of other items meant to enrich the lives of our kids. 

Warmth and wellbeing also depend on good spirits. As the days grow darker nothing lifts the spirit like a birthday party. This month we celebrated that special day for Zainab, Hanif, Frishta and Ghani and a combined grand party for all 10 children of Doffie Rotter, a sponsor from CT. The wonders of technology, in particular Skype, allowed for Terry and Doffie to actually join the party.

You too can join the party, albeit belatedly, on Youtube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3LmSv8dDsIk

Soon the snow will fall and exams are on the horizon. Regardless of the stresses of nature and the demands of staying up on studies while working together to keep the orphanages running smoothly, the children have stronger bodies and healthy attitudes to see them through. 

As always, to all of you a hearty thanks for your part in the vision we share for the future of Afghanistan.