By Dave Toycen -
I witnessed a miracle on a recent trip to Afghanistan. While visiting a hospital that World Vision has funded, a newly born baby was brought into a pediatric ward we were touring. Moments after he was brought in, the baby suddenly stopped breathing. A nurse acted quickly, and within moments resuscitated him. I saw a baby brought back to life.
Moments of hope like that, and a warm reception from the Afghan people, dispelled my preconceptions about the country; it was very humbling. I was expecting the constant violence many Canadians associate with that country. In reality, the conflict is contained to certain regions and contexts. For many, life in Afghanistan carries on.
The devastation I witnessed was wrought mostly by poverty. The cruel reality is that one in five Afghan children won’t reach their fifth birthday, and many women continue to die in childbirth.
World Vision is fighting for the health of mothers and children in Afghanistan. Simple things, like basic medical attention and training midwives, are having a real impact. Access to midwives, nurses and doctors has been life changing, as I witnessed when I saw that baby brought back to life. Additionally, providing mothers with training in nutrition and practical skills is making a major difference in their children’s early years.
I came away from my trip with the assurance that what we are doing is helping to change the lives of many mothers in practical and educational ways. And World Vision needs to support this work over the long term.
Join me in praying for Afghan mothers, and the health and well-being of their children. Also, pray for the protection and encouragement of those who are working to improve the lives of families in Afghanistan.
Dave Toycen is President and CEO of World Vision Canada.