An Afghani mother’s letter to Canadians

Mar 17, 2016
10-Minute Read
This is a real letter from 35-year-old Rahima, who had given up hope when she learned her son Belal was severely malnourished.
Hello Mr. David Lawrence,*
I hope you are doing well. I am not a literate woman. I was so young when I got married to an old man, I never had the experience of taking a pen and writing, but I asked the brother of our community health worker to write what I say. I hope you read my letter.
I want to appreciate and thank you for contributing to the health of mothers and children in the villages of Afghanistan.
I am a mother who, one year ago, didn’t have any hope for my young son’s survival. I lost my second child during delivery and two other children after delivery. I had lost my hope and thought I would lose Belal, my young child, to malnutrition as well.

I thought, all doors are closed to me and I have to accept the reality — which was losing Belal. I had been looking at Belal with disappointment and thought that those were the last days of his life. He was weak and lethargic and got sick quickly.
I enrolled Belal in nutrition programs at the World Vision clinic that you support. When my Belal came home he was much better. Mobile teams came to my house and advised me on important things like vaccines, deworming, food quality, clean water and safe latrine use.
I learned a lot of things about hygiene, children's nutrition, safe water, breastfeeding and supplementary foods for children and mothers.
Today, Belal is alive and healthy because you helped us learn more about health. Some of our neighbours and relatives also have participated in World Vision programs and they are also happy like me.
I don’t know if you have kids, but children's health is everything for their parents. There is nothing worse than losing your child in front of your eyes and not being able to do anything to save her or him. Hopefully, those days are finished now that I know how to take care of my children.
Thank you so much for your willingness to serve people in need. Still, there are a lot of mothers like me in other villages that need your help. I hope they would never fear losing their children because of sickness.
Thank you,