This is the first installment of series that will chronicle an ongoing aid mission in Afghanistan.
1.5 Days in Kabul
Johannes Müller, Michael Söhner (our foreign correspondent on the ground) and Serkan Eren have arrived in Kabul, and will be trying to bring food supplies and medicines to rural areas.
This mission is unique in that it is undertaken without sponsorship or support by any large organization or government. This is a story of what can be done by determined individuals and what is really happening in the crisis-torn region.
The situation in Afghanistan is already dire for the people, and getting harder by the day. For the most part, humanitarian aid and any international monetary support has been cut off.
For this reason the three, led by Serkan Eren, founder and face of aid organization STELP – supporter on site and joined by Johannes Müller and Michael Söhner have taken it upon themselves, as individuals to travel to this crisis area to help in any way possible with aid.
Brining food and medicine to those hardest hit by the economic realities that came directly after the withdrawal of US and international forces and aid organizations.
Their aim is also to raise awareness of the challenges facing the people of Afghanistan, who are, unfortunately hardest hit by the shifting political situation that they had no part in.
Since most large humanitarian programs that had provided so relief before the Taliban took control, there is a dire need to fill the void. These three brave individuals decided, just like that, to take it upon themselves, to travel, with a single local guide and escort, to try and help.
Afghanistan Dairy by Michael Söhner: Day 1
my first 1 1/2 days in KBL – it is safe, we see full markets (however, not a lot of shoppers), we have seen the Taliban with their heavy machine guns (we speak with them and even share smiles and laughs with them), ppl have very little money, the economy is down – the astronomical corruption has stopped. I have the hardest time to discover / see an unsafe KBL – we landed on the same runway we all observed in August when all the planes left…
From Facebook post just before the journey began:
I am leaving for Afghanistan …Shortly after the Taliban came to power in Afghanistan, STELP – supporter on site were able to work with #LeaveNoOneBehind (#luftbrückekabul) to help get particularly vulnerable people out of the country. For some, they succeeded; for many, they did not.
And despite the diminishing media coverage, the situation on the ground has not stabilized or improved for some populations. In particular, the suspension of most international aid projects after the Taliban came to power is hitting thousands of widows and orphans outside the significant cities particularly hard.
These people are suffering from an acute famine that had already gripped the country before the Taliban took power and which has been exacerbated by last year’s drought.According to Germany’s State Department, the “security situation has deteriorated drastically.” Nationals of most countries are being urged to leave the country. There are travel warnings to Afghanistan.
Most all embassies in Kabul are closed. Consular support on the ground is currently not possible.-> Nevertheless, looking away is not an option!I am well aware of the danger of my most challenging aid mission to date. That is why I am accompanied by Serkan Eren, founder and face of aid organization STELP – supporter on site, and the experienced conflict photographer Johannes Müller.
He has documented the people on the ground in Afghanistan, Iraq, Mali, Bosnia, and Lebanon for ten years. On-site, a professional fixer, and driver will help travel through the country as safe as possible.
If you would like to support this mission, we would be happy to receive financial support.My PayPal: firstname.lastname@example.org or mail check to Michael Soehner, 12531 Wagner Street, Los Angeles, CA 90066
STELP e.V.Verwendungszweck: HILFE FÜR AFGHANISTANIBAN: DE 32 4306 0967 7001801100BIC: GENODEM1GLS PayPal: email@example.com