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Afghanistan: landmine and accident victims take their message of hope to the sky

11-11-2009 News Release 09/228

Kabul (ICRC) – The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is holding a kite-flying competition today for wheelchair-bound patients at its rehabilitation centre in the Afghan capital of Kabul.

©ICRC/Fardin Waizi    
  A participant in the competition prepares to launch his kite. 


©ICRC/Fardin Waizi    
  A participant in the competition prepares to launch his kite. 

The event aims to draw attention to the needs and expectations of civilians in war-torn Afghanistan as part of a global campaign, called " Our world. Your move. " , highlighting today's most pressing humanitarian challenges and the power of individuals to make a difference in the lives of others.

" The spirit of the Afghans is remarkable, " said Khaled Hosseini, author of the acclaimed novel The Kite Runner . " All they sometimes need is a helping hand, like those wheelchair users who were given a lifeline by the ICRC ortho centre, to reclaim their lives and move on. "

The ICRC's limb-fitting and rehabilitation programme helps over 30,000 Afghans every year.

" Many people, like our kite-flying participants today, have lost limbs as a direct or indirect consequence of the conflict, " said Reto Stocker, the head of the ICRC delegation in Afghanistan. " But, admirably, they have not lost hope. "

The ICRC, the Afghan Red Crescent Society and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies together form the largest humanitarian network in Afghanistan.

  For further information, please contact:
  Bijan Farnoudi, ICRC Kabul, tel: + 93 700 282 719
  Simon Schorno, ICRC Geneva, tel: +41 79 251 9302