The Kuchis - Afghanistan's Nomads

July 11, 2009

For at least three thousand years, the Kuchis (pronounced “kootchees”’) have led semi-nomadic lives. During the summer they live in the mountainous regions of Afghanistan. In the winter, they move south to lower-lying areas, often crossing over into Pakistan.

 

They make their living chiefly from their herds: sheep, goats and camels. Some clans also trade in other goods.

 

But war, landmines and years of drought have driven many families into financial ruin. Their herds have been decimated, the only option has been to offer their services as day laborers. As a result, they are losing their unique culture and identity.

 

As a people, the Kuchis are considered wild and unpredictable. There are hardly any organizations helping them.

 

Working together with the leaders of various Kuchi clans, Shelter Now is looking to reverse the negative trend. We are giving them loans so that they can rebuild their herds. The aim is that they should be independent from us within a few years, so that they are free to return to their traditional lifestyle or (if they want to and it’s possible) switch to a sedentary lifestyle and allow their children a better education.

 

In addition, we will be teaching the children – both boys and girls – to read and write. We are also offering hygiene courses for the women, as the child mortality rate amongst the Kuchis is one of the highest in the world.

 

If you would like to donate money for the Kuchis, then please mark your gift with the word “Kuchis” when you transfer money.

 

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