Posted By: Rebecca W., working with CIVIC’s Erica in Afghanistan

Around 8am on February 27, 2007, Mohammad was driving to the Pakistan Embassy in Kandahar city to collect his visa. He traveled regularly to Pakistan to buy parts for his successful car business. On the road ahead, an ISAF armored vehicle had broken down. Mohammad failed to pull over, despite requests from ISAF soldiers that he should stop his car. The ISAF soldiers responded with lethal gunfire leaving Mohammad’s mother, wife and four small children without a son, husband, father, and provider.

Today, I interviewed Mohammad’s brother-in-law, Bilal, who has been supporting Mohammad’s family since February 2007. He told me how his sister had previously had a good life; her husband was a successful businessman and she had everything she needed. Now, Bilal told me, “if you take her two apples, she is excited. When she sees other families, with husbands and children happy together, she starts crying.

ACAP was the only international or national organization to offer Bilal assistance. ACAP developed a business plan and provided money to the widow who agreed to invest the cash into her brother’s motorcycle shop. This money will be used to buy spare parts and any profit made from selling these items will generate income for the widow and her family. The widow’s brother told me that, without this assistance, the family would have been left feeling desperate and frustrated. ACAP’s help “showed that the international community cared and helped us see that the harm was not intentional.” Before receiving the ACAP assistance, Mohammad’s widow would spend all her time worrying about the family’s next meal. Now she is able to focus on the future and on the education of her young children.

Image courtesy of CIVIC