“It was Friday, and I was out looking for daily work. I waited until around noon where laborers gather to find daily work. On that day, no one selected me for work so I returned to my village. This region is very hilly. As I passed a hill near my village, I saw a lot of people standing by where the landslide covered our village and homes. At first, I thought I was dreaming or my eyes were not working. Then, I realized it was not a dream.
“I could see from the upper part of the hill that there was a landslide and part of the village had also slid away. I could see in the valley a lot of mud where my home and children would have been. As I came closer, I could see people from our neighboring village removing dead bodies.
“Everywhere people were crying. I also started to search the mud for my children. One of my neighbors said that my children were safe and he directed me toward the neighboring village. I rushed to find them. I found my eldest daughter with two of her sisters and three brothers.”
Mehrabudin’s wife and three other children were not so lucky. His eldest daughter had informed him that their mother died trying to return to rescue their five-year-old sister, and two of their brothers, aged 20 and 9, were trapped with their sheep in the pasture.
Mehrabudin, 45, is in a state of despair at the loss of his wife and three children. He and his surviving children mourn their loss and the loss of their home, livestock, and orchard. “We feel helpless and do not know what to do.”
Church World Service-Pakistan/Afghanistan provided Mehrabudin’s family mattresses and pillows through a distribution supported by ACT Alliance members, DanChurchAid and the United Methodist Committee on Relief. The family’s other basic needs were met through the relief efforts of the government and other humanitarian agencies.
“It gives me hope that people from different parts of my country and people from all over the world extend their hand of support. It helps to change my views, and I feel that there are people who think about us, who care about us, and give us our life back. I am really thankful to your organization and all the people who have helped us.”
Kelli Siddiqui works for CWS Pakistan/Afghanistan.