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Filmmaker Cofounds Humanitarian Effort In Afghanistan

First Posted: 03/18/10 06:12 AM ET Updated: 05/25/11 03:50 PM ET

Afghan Kids

Sometimes, documenting the world's injustices is not enough. That's what NEED magazine founder Kelly Kinnunen realized on a recent trip to an IDP camp in Afghanistan.

Kinnunen is currently working on a documentary in Kabul and traveled with Dina Fesler of Children's Culture Connection to the Charahee Qambar IDP camp. There, they found a severely ill baby that ultimately led them to launch a large-scale civilian-led humanitarian mission to secure health care for thousands of children living in the IDP camp.

Fesler explained the effort on a recent NEED blog:

For the last two days, Najib and I have been meeting with the directors of the top three children's hospitals in Kabul and convincing them to join us in a civilian-led humanitarian mission where for one month they would greatly discount their fees for as many of the camp kids as we could bring in for medical assistance ... if the American people would kick in donations to cover it. The idea is to work outside the government, the military, or even other NGOs to create a project where everyday Afghans and Americans can simply pool their resources to help the most innocent victims of all: the kids...Meanwhile, Wusim [a local guide] has been in the IDP camp registering children there and planning how to bring them in. Currently, more than 2,000 children are living in that camp, and of the 250 he has registered and screened so far, over 70 percent have pneumonia.

For the next 30 days, the hospitals will receive children and the humanitarians' local guides will transport the children between the IDP camp and the hospitals. Children's Culture Connection has established the Helmand Children's Medical Fund to collect donations until December 31.
To read more about this very personal and deeply affecting effort, read Fesler's blog on Need.
You can make a donation to the Helmand Children's Medical Fund by visiting warkidsrelief.org and indicating HCMF in the PayPal memo.


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Filed by Victoria Fine  |