Again, a lot has happened over the past weeks, and we’ve had a number of challenges to deal with in getting this project going. Sadly, in the first week of training we lost three of our Afghan trainees to the Taliban as they were financially lured back to Helmand to harvest poppies.
(Fun Fact: Ninety percent of the world’s opium comes from the poppy crops of Afghanistan. In 2008, opium sales brought in $50 million in Taliban funding.)
Poverty, illiteracy, depression and the inability for these guys to imagine healthy futures are the leading causes as to why it is so difficult to break the grip of the insurgencies, but the positive news is that we recruited their younger brothers to take their places. This will keep the original three connected to this project, and hopefully we can bring them back on board as we show them that we are here to stay.