An Afghan Perspective - 60 Minutes on CBS - Global Medical Relief's mission March 27, 2011

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War has been always the saddest tragedy that can be happened in any country which brings physical destruction and civilian injuries and murders. Beside military troops who are one of the main parts that are highly involved in war, there are considerable percentages of children who suffer from war and it's consequences in their countries.

This 60 Minutes is about a woman who has taken an unbelievable step towards helping  children who are victim of war, she is Elissa Montanti, a brave woman who is a native of Staten Island, New York. Elissa founded the non-profit, nonpartisan Global Medical Relief Fund (GMRF) whose mission is to help children who are missing or have lost the use of limbs or eyes, have been severely burned, or have suffered other effects of war, natural disaster, or illness.

she believes that GMRF children will become "ambassadors" who will return home not only with a healed, mended body and a new hope for life, but also with an experience of “America at its best.”  Last summer, she published a book called: "I'll Stand By You" One Woman's Mission to Heal the Children of the World.

I also had the chance to met Elissa some weeks ago in person in her office with GMRF children. Speaking to each of them and hearing the wishes they have for their future was a great lesson for me. It reminded me that it does not matter where you are and what you have, what is important is who you are and what you can do.

Abed, 11 years old, from Syria, who lost his leg, told me he wants to be a Mechanical Engineer in the future. Ngwang, 15 years old, Tibetan from India, who lost both his arms, likes singing and wants to be a famous singer who can sing for people from every part of the world. I met Marzia whom they called "An Angel from Afghanistan". She is 6 years old and lost one of her eye.

These children can be the  ambassadors for their countries that represent their feelings about people whom they met in the USA and also vice versa to those who are here. They can be a bridge to connect people in both countries with different cultures and customs which brings the mutual collaboration and support for kids to have a better future rather than war and destruction.

Meeting with people like Elissa is always a pleasure and her hard working for injured kids is admirable. Right  now there are thousands of children in Afghanistan who are affected by war and its consequences but due to low economical budget and not having access to the right medical care, they should spend their rest of lives by the hope to someday there would be person like Elissa who give a hand to them and make their wishes true.

جنگ پدیده شومی است که کشورهای زیادی را تحت تاثیر قرار میدهد. جنگ نه تنها ویرانی های فیزیکی و مادی بلکه تلفات انسانی را نیز به همراه دارد. علاوه بر نیروهای نظامی که قشر انبوه تلفات را شامل میشوند، کودکان نیز از این امر مستثنی نیستند. برنامه ۶۰ دقیقه به بررسی اقدام بشر دوستانه و قابل قدر خانم الیسا مونتانی که بنیانگذار بنیاد جی ام آر اف هست میپردازد. هدف وی از تاسیس این نهاد کمک به کودکانی است که یکی از اعضای بدن خود را در طول جنگ از دست داده اند و یا به صورت ناگوار سوخته است.
برای من نیز این فرصت فراهم شد تا با الیسا و کودکان این مرکز از نزدیک گفتگویی داشته باشم. کودکان از کشورهای سوریه، عراق ، هند و افغانستان بودند و هر کدام به نحوی از جنگ صدمه دیده اند. آنها عملیات های جراحی متفاوتی را در چندین ماه پشت سر گذاشته اند، هر یک از آنها با آرزوی به دست آوردن سلامتی دوباره به اینجا آمدند.
دیدن این کودکان درس بزرگی برای من در زندگی بود چرا که با دیدن هر یک از آنها و داشتن آرزوهای که در سر دارند و برای رسیدن به آن با اراده ای قوی با مشکلات روبرو میشوند به من یاد داد که مهم نیست که در کجای دنیا و تحت چه شرایطی هستی مهم این است که به توانایی های درونی خود باور داشته باشی و ایمان به اینکه اگر اراده کنی میتوانی از آنچه که ناممکن تصور میشود ممکن بسازی

Fereshteh Forough

About the author


Afghan Perspective is a weekly column presenting Afghan Women and Men's views on CBS' 60 Minutes shows. The Afghan writers watch each episodes and then try to relate the topic to what is happening in their country. The main goal is to connect people presented in the shows with Afghans…

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