Mercy Corps distributes school and hospital supplies in Kabul, Afghanistan

Afghanistan, February 14, 2002

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    Students at Naswan #12 High School in Kabul, Afghanistan receive school supplies. Mercy Corps is distributing relief items to schools and hospitals in Afghanistan. Photo: Laura Guimond/Mercy Corps Photo:

From the hands of students in Issaquah, Washington to desks of children in Kabul, Afghanistan, a Mercy Corps relief mission is helping to deliver much needed aid while also bringing people together.

On Wednesday, Mercy Corps handed out school kits to students at Naswan #12 High School in the Khair Khana district of the Afghan capital. The kits, which were assembled last month by students at Cougar Ridge Elementary School in Issaquah, Washington, included colored pencils, paper, chalkboards and chalk.

Naswan #12 is one the largest high schools for girls in all of Afghanistan with nearly 500 students. It has only recently reopened and like many schools in Afghanistan is in desperate need of basic supplies.

“The students were very excited to receive the paper, pens and other supplies,” said Mercy Corps’ Laura Guimond who helped distribute the items.

“For the most part these schools have nothing and to hand out these supplies is a tangible way of jump starting Afghanistan’s education system while also showing the children that students in the United States care about them,” Guimond said.

Mercy Corps workers also distributed baby quilts and newborn kits including diapers, soap and clothes to mothers and their newborn babies at the Malalai Hospital in Kabul on Wednesday. The hospital has the largest maternity ward in Kabul, averaging 120 births a day.

The relief supplies are part of a $2 million shipment that arrived on a Boeing 747 earlier this week and were donated by organizations, businesses and concerned citizens in the United States.

Mercy Corps will continue to deliver supplies this week to hospitals and schools in the Kabul area as well as to Helmand province in southern Afghanistan.