International Velvet

When he arrived in Afghanistan in December 2001, Simon Pánek looked for a niche where the tiny resources of his Czech NGO, the People in Need Foundation, could make a difference. With just $50,000 in hand (and the promise of $200,000 more) there was no point in joining the scrum of aid agencies feeding displaced Afghans. Instead, he decided to help them return to their homes, reasoning that any delay would cause them to miss another planting season. In Mazar-e-Sharif, Pánek's 150-family pilot project proved so successful that he became a coordinator of repatriation efforts for the area, hrlping some 5,000...

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