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  • Writer's pictureLondon Catholic Worker

Member of the LCW in Afghanistan

The photo shows the December 2014 VCNV Peace Delegation to Kabul: Maya Evans, Mary Dobbing and Henrietta Cullinan standing outside the Borderfree Centre. Below is Henrietta's brief report....

We stayed with the women’s community of the Afghan Peace Volunteers, who run a community centre, the Borderfree Centre, home to humanitarian and cultural projects. The centre runs literacy and numeracy classes for street children, and organises local seamstresses to make duvets which are then handed out to IDPs (Internally Displaced Persons) and day labourers. The volunteers host many delegations from the US, Australia and the UK. They also join Global Days of Listening in Skype calls with people all over the world.

In Kabul I shared in the daily life of the women’s community, cooking and cleaning, took part in workshops at the Borderfree Centre and went out to see the duvets being distributed to internally displaced families in a refugee camp and to day labourers. During our visit Mary Dobbing from Voices for Creative Nonviolence and Drone Wars UK delivered an international workshop on the UK use of drones for Afghan journalists and the APV. Drone experts joined us from UK by Skype: Chris Cole from Drone Wars UK, Chris Woods investigative journalist and author, and Jennifer Gibson an international human rights lawyer with Reprieve.

The purpose of the visit was to show solidarity with the peace activists in a war torn country, at the very time when the ISAF forces were pulling out of Afghanistan after thirteen years of war. I also wanted to be able to report back to friends in the UK on the terrible effects of war and intended to challenge the militarisation of our society, which assumes you can only visit Afghanistan with guards and guns.

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