January 4th, 2011
10:42 AM ET

Child scavenges trash for family's survival

Five-year-old Marjan sniffles from the cold as she struggles under her load. Hoisted on her back is a bag almost as big as she is.

Instead of going to school, Marjan scavenges for hours with her 10-year-old aunt collecting trash. It is a heavy burden for such a small child but a necessary one. The trash she collects is what her family uses as fuel for cooking and, more importantly, to fend off Kabul's bitter winter.

It is a matter of life and death for someone so young.

UNICEF, the UN children's agency, says that Afghanistan is the worst place in the world to be a child. One in five children do not live past the age of five. Afghanistan is second only to Sierra Leone when it comes to child mortality. Most of those deaths are caused by curable childhood diseases and malnutrition, compounded by the security situation, which means that parents are unable to access proper health care.

Read more from CNN's Arwa Damon


Filed under: Life and Culture
soundoff (119 Responses)
  1. Allan R

    Marjan has touched me I ways I never knew about. I was deeply touched, not the way we are by reports about people (especially children) suffering. But she truly changed my way of thought. Every time I have a “bad day” I think about her roaming the streets silently, heating her socks over an open fire. A child so far beyond her years not even knowing what suffering in silence means, but going on with her daily life to protect and feed her family. She has given me (36 yr old male) strength to get through the littlest dim experiences and to fight even the demons that have plagued me my entire life. (I always think how would Marjan handle this). Marjan I pray for you all the time. I am so happy now that I have re-read the report and see the overwhelming outpour of support and kindness from people all over. God bless you all too.

    April 7, 2011 at 2:50 am | Report abuse |
  2. nadia slade dubai uae

    I WILL GO THERE PERSONALY AND GIVE HER DONATIONS SINCE I HAVE NO WORK NOR FAMILY NOR ANYTHING HOLDING ME BACK I LOVE THIS WORK ITS MY DREAM ... I WILL PLACE A PHOTO OF ME GIVING HER[ MARJAN ] ALL YOUR THINGS YOU WANT ... ONLY I ASKS FOR SOMEONE TO HELP ME GET THERE AND BACK TO DUBAI SINCE I HAVE NO FUNDS ...ONLY SERIOUS PEOPLE PLEASE RESPOND . I SPEAK FARSI ALSO ,[ I HAVE AMERICAN PASSPORT ]..PLEASE CONTACT ME AT NADIASLADE@YMAIL.COM

    January 26, 2011 at 11:33 am | Report abuse |
    • nadia

      I never got a responce but unicef said they issue strugging moms with vouchers to help them thank god anyway am back in america , and hope they keep helping children of war .... God Bless unicef

      May 4, 2011 at 2:43 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Zahatorteho

    Lots of us here wanting to help her but don’t know how. While we are thinking, she (Marjan) and her family is still spending the cold days and nights in Kabul suffering. Yes, we can donate but sometimes I really don’t know where the money really go. We can keep think for Marjan while we donate to some association but, I think Marjan’s family needs some sustainable help not just for short time attention after the news showed. And I know even we find her family but send things, there are others who can be jealous and steal things from what she gets. I really need someone who has good route to find her and deliver things to her family directly…. Am I just dreaming? We have plenty of things to share with them but just cannot reach them somehow… I feel I am so powerless, but cannot stop thinking about them every day. Perhaps the reporter for this news can bring us for where Marjan is…

    January 24, 2011 at 10:30 am | Report abuse |
    • Christine

      I would love to help this little girl and her family. I saw this report and can't stop thinking about it.
      It has truly touched me and I would love to help. I understand you might feel helpless and think that a band-aid response is not the solution to this situation. However sometimes it takes just one person to start and who knows what might happen. So here I am lets start together.

      January 25, 2011 at 3:06 pm | Report abuse |
      • Zahatorteho

        Thank you Chrisitine. Today, I thought about a good idea which we might be able to practice. Through CNN's tweet, I found a foundation to donate in Kabul and there might be a way to reach the family. I feel its really far a way to reach them but I just want to try some of the routes which we can try of. My contact is "aabyshop@hotmail.com". I am trying to find out the way and saw lots of the people wanted to help her but unelss we really start something as you said, I just cannot sleep well !!!

        January 27, 2011 at 9:08 am | Report abuse |
    • boushra alchabaoun

      please contact me

      Bouchra@thesanafoundation.org

      February 24, 2011 at 5:35 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Niki

    Being from that region, I too was moved by this story, can you please please let me know how I can help out his child?

    January 19, 2011 at 5:07 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Lucienne Zircher

    that of a very good study.

    January 18, 2011 at 2:11 pm | Report abuse |
  6. nadia slade dubai uae

    THINGS THAT MARJAN COULD RECIEVE " CUP OF SOUPS " MY FAVORITE BRAND " KOKA NOODLES" WOULD BE FUN FOR HER TO MAKE AS WELL ALL SHE NEEDS IS BOILED WATER .. ALSO BLANKETS , SOCKS SHOES AND WARM CLOTHES JACKETS ALSO PRODUCTS FOR WASHING HANDS AND HAIR ,CAN SOMEONE TELL ME IF SHE' HAS GOT ANY HELP SINCE THE STORY RAN ? THANKS AGAIN TO THE REPORTER ...

    January 18, 2011 at 12:52 pm | Report abuse |
  7. nadia slade dubai uae

    BOBBY THIS IS SO TRUE I JUST POSTED A FEW MONTHS AGO ON MY PAGE A BLOG ABOUT " HUNGRY IN AMERICA" ITS SAD THAT IN ONE OF THE WORLD'S WEALTHEST COUNTRIES WE HAVE PEOPLE WHO DONT GET A MEAL BEFORE GOING TO BED .. NOT ONLY ALSO DUE TO THE RECESSION BUT ALSO BECAUSE ALOT OF CHILDREN ARE BEING PUT SECOND TOO DRUG ADDICTED PARENTS WHO FIND IT MORE FULFILLING TO BUY A PIECE OF CRACK THAN SUPPLY FOOD FOR THEIR CHILDREN ...

    January 18, 2011 at 12:33 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Bobby

    With several hundred thousand people in our own country starving, and going through trash piles just like this little girl is. With millions of people unable to afford to go to a Doctor to get even the least of medical help. With Millions in America unemployed, and homeless, we let the republican party lower taxes on the rich, remove health care to the poor, stop medicare funding for the disabled and poor.
    We let them steel from our social security retirement and raise the age to 75 in order to retire ( which means we will never do so as we would be dead) We let them get richer while the rest get poorer...I think its time we pay attention to our own country instead of some poor little girl ( who is in need also) in another country who we can do little for! Its time we threw out all Republican party officials who are attempting to repeal the health package and put people in there who honestly care about America and not their own pocket book . Make congress retire only on Soc Sec, Have only Medicare and Medicaid as their health plan too. Why NOT, give me one good reason they are better than the rest of us?

    January 18, 2011 at 10:55 am | Report abuse |
  9. JBK

    This is not news. People without have been scavenging for centuries...Reporting an obvious and understood truth is one thing. Doing something to help people do better for themselves is quite another...

    January 18, 2011 at 9:16 am | Report abuse |
  10. nadia slade dubai uae

    sorry for repeating my statement , .

    January 17, 2011 at 10:21 am | Report abuse |
  11. allbummedout

    Words cannot express the sorrow I feel for this child.

    January 14, 2011 at 8:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • nadia slade dubai uae

      I Think Marjan has put a human face to A real problem in the world today ..[children.suffering] lack of care lack of love and greed ...When we see kids aged 9 walking around with cellphones , and in most countries the kids are very ungreatful for even the most valued things to marjan and her sister a blanket its really scarey to know we live in a world where human kindness and love for one another is fading ....I pray Marjan is truely blessed for sharing her great love and care at 5 years old for her mom and sister ....

      January 17, 2011 at 9:45 am | Report abuse |
  12. elenore

    I am really tired of the blankets statements about Americans being uneducated about poverty,It is untrue there are almost 200 countries world wide.Americans know that many are in poverty.They do give to charities like Red Cross,UNICEF,and Salvation Army and many more.When I give money I expect the charities to know where the need is and to deliver it,that is there organizations job.If they need more funding that is one thing but to issue statements that it's Americans fault to not know the history,needs, and lifestyles of everyone,everywhere is ridiculous and unfair,and something that most people in any Nation anywhere would probably wouldn't know either.BTW it is really hard to keep up with needs of so many in this World,Americans are bombarded with people and charities in need.Again if these charities need more funding especially for children I have no problem donating,but please stop the Racist statements about Americans being ignorant.

    January 14, 2011 at 10:37 am | Report abuse |
    • Jennie

      elenore, surely you've noticed that America and Americans are blamed for virtually ALL of the world's problems. Somehow it's our fault! People forget that America and Americans are about the most generous people on the face of the earth. We have given billions of $$$ for millions who are less fortunate than we are. People bent on blaming America for their own problems, however, will never give credit where credit is due. That said, we've also made our share of mistakes and blunders (to put it mildly).

      January 14, 2011 at 6:03 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Maria

    I would like to help this tiny family and others like theirs. I don't have much but I am way better off than they are. Poor starving children have always been with us, it is our responsiblity to care for each other and especially the defenseless. I have heard of ways that mothers can get educated with marketable skills that would be considered appropriate by their culture. This would allow the mothers to care for their children and make enough to better their lives. It may seem piddly by our (out of whack) standards but it would be so much better than what they have now. I mean, what would it cost to teach the mother how to crochet, a gift of yarn and a bit of egg money to get her started? Has anyone studied what markets are there? Or asked the mothers, I am sure they would know. Gosh, needles, thread, fabric...a peddle sewing machine. Wax, parafin, coils of wick....What will the market bear?

    January 12, 2011 at 10:21 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Rabbani

    @Melissa Roddy
    If you want to help and
    If you feel so moved, vote to get your currupt goverment out nof Afghanistan

    January 12, 2011 at 4:05 am | Report abuse |
  15. TERESA

    oo

    January 11, 2011 at 8:48 pm | Report abuse |
  16. nadia slade dubai uae

    I am greatful for the awareness of marjans struggle . thanks for reporting this story but I also wanted to asks the reporter did you bring marjan a blanket or anything? and if not why? is the story more important than thinking maybe you too can give her something ...sincerely nadia uae anyway please people if you really want to help marjan give it to her directly not through agency ...

    January 11, 2011 at 3:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • nadia slade dubai uae

      also I wanted to add , when we feel life is hard and you got it bad , Think of marjan a 5 year old who's doing all she can to keep her mom and sister warm ... Those who have more than this little 5 year and complain is unworthy of a blanket even just my opinion ...nadia

      January 11, 2011 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
      • john

        I want to thank the reporter responsible for sharing this story with us. Thank you.

        January 11, 2011 at 9:01 pm | Report abuse |
      • life

        you are right nadia. i just hate it when children marjan's age walk around with cellphones and nike shoes. these children's parents need to watch little marjan's video ad help her and her family.

        January 12, 2011 at 5:45 pm | Report abuse |
  17. daliya robson

    low income does not mean ignorant or hopeless.I have been low incoe all my life but I was able to feed and educate my family and not be a drain on sciety. poor is not hopless but some of our people are.iF MY KIDS HAD TO RAID GARBAGE SITES FOR FOOD i WOULD NOT HAVE HAD 3 OF THEM

    January 10, 2011 at 8:50 pm | Report abuse |
  18. Cinders

    How can you say such a thing?? I go out with my church to scrub graffiti off the homes of poor people. We host dinners and lunches for low-income communities. We give vouchers to solo mums struggling to meet the rising cost of living. If only more people were like the Christians I congregate with then the world would be a better place!!

    January 10, 2011 at 8:11 pm | Report abuse |
  19. daliya robson

    Instead of wars we should use our money to suggest that people all over the world stop having babies .
    if you cant afford them dont have them . Get sterilized and then you can fornicate as much as you want safely.
    Stop making babies should be our slogans. In usa as well poor white trash living in sorry trailers with no education are not much better off than these poor kids. The World is overrum with unloving drunk or drugged or sick in the head parents.Stop breeding genrations of ignorant people with no hope or future . daliya

    January 10, 2011 at 7:51 pm | Report abuse |
  20. daliya robson

    instead of wars we should use out money to suggest that eople all over the world stop having babies if you cant afford them .
    stop making babies should be our slogans. In usa as well poor white trash living in sorry trailers with no education are not much better off than these poor kids. The wporld is overrum with consientious unlobing drunk or drugged or sick in the head parents.Stop breeding gerations of ignorant people with no hope or future . daliya

    January 10, 2011 at 7:48 pm | Report abuse |
  21. Melissa Roddy

    I was so moved by this story, I've been haunted by it for days. Here is what I offer:

    (1) I have been trying to find a way to get to Afghanistan for years. If there are people on this blog who wish to collect supplies to be distributed to Afghans in need, I will happily shepherd those supplies and personally see to their distribution, as long as my costs are covered. That way people will know that their charity is not going to a bureaucracy.

    (2) I will take this family by the hand to the Afghan Women's Resource Center – which represents over 30 Afghan women's aid groups, and can thus direct them to organizations which will serve their immediate, as well as long term needs.

    I can be contacted at: meet.theafghans@yahoo.com

    January 10, 2011 at 5:36 pm | Report abuse |
  22. Joanne Hohman

    Ok maybe it's true that these people may have lived like this for years before we got involved there, so does that mean that we shouldn't help them? Also, Yes we do have a lot of children right here in our own backyard that needs help too! So help them too. I believe that wherever there is help needed and there is someone who can help, should help in whatever way that can. I don't have much to give to anyone, but I do have a house, food and people who care and I'm not sitting in a hole in the ground, with children and have people in that country deny me an education so I could get some kind of a job to better my children's lives. Oh by the way who would watch the children while she was at work or in school? Oh yeah that's right she should go out and find herself a good husband who can give them all a better life. Hey, these people who think those weird things should really think over how dumb that all sounds. Oh yes, "now that my husband is dead I think I'll go out and find me another one" Weird thoughts. Check out how these women get treated to start with. I don't think that's the way it usually works there.Seems to me that a lot of people need to check out more before they make stupid comments. My daughter has a box of clothes to send if someone knows where we can send them. Our family is on a very low income,But where we can help we will. I think that prayer is still free for us so please everyone who believes Pray.

    January 10, 2011 at 3:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • The Prophet Mohammed

      Good post, I would check with your local city, county and state laws though, I think New York is now taxing prayers, there might be other places as well.

      January 10, 2011 at 4:12 pm | Report abuse |
  23. carla

    I feel really bad about the child and family ....but what about helping the familys here in our own country...I have a nephew at the age 2 that cant even see his mother or father both have been deployed to fight for us ...he is being rasied by three diffrent grandmothers...our country needs to look at our own children and our own familys and our own business and start taking care of what needs to be taking care of and thats americans !! We all are hurting here and we need to start helping each other here !!!

    January 9, 2011 at 1:42 pm | Report abuse |
  24. The Prophet Mohammed

    The word is Idiot; Not Psycho.

    January 9, 2011 at 1:41 am | Report abuse |
  25. Teresa

    I hate to say this, April, but it is impossible to send aid to these people. First of all, they have no postal system. Secondly, anything you were even able to get over their would be stolen by the higher ups. It would NEVER reach these people. The governments are so corrupt. This is why they are having these problems to begin with. The US can send troops there who are provided for physically, yet they cannot send aid to these people. It is absolutely sinful and disgusting. God is going to deal with these corrupt people soon and it is not going to be pretty.

    January 7, 2011 at 4:34 am | Report abuse |
    • John

      You're quite righ Teresa,except that first God will have have to deal with the right-wing thugs in Washington who are causing all this misery!

      January 7, 2011 at 10:40 am | Report abuse |
  26. Teraneshia N

    I desperately want to help this little girl and her family. Who do I need to contact in order to do so?

    January 7, 2011 at 3:42 am | Report abuse |
  27. april huening

    also where are all the comments from the last few days gone? i have been posting alot and now they are gone along with many dim witted mean sub human remarks, thankyou whomever, but this issue was crazy a couple days ago so many posts it had pages full, if anyone wants to join up and send stuff to them i am ready with bags full of toys clothes blankets, etc... all donated by my kids and neighbor kids, someones gotta have the power to do this right? let me know THANK YOU! poor lil' angels, i dont know many grown adults who work as hard as these kids do sick of people not seeing how good they have it, even my oldest kid 4 wants to know WHY & what she can do to stop it... she's willing to give her brand new xmas stuff to these kids... peace & love april

    January 7, 2011 at 12:07 am | Report abuse |
  28. ms. C

    I wish I could take them all and bring them to america.....This story hurts my heart........

    January 6, 2011 at 11:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • The Prophet Mohammed

      Great! Homegrown, Imported, Terrorists. That's all we need.

      January 9, 2011 at 1:46 am | Report abuse |
    • nadia slade dubai uae

      God Bless you ms C I am sure she would love to go ... I feel we should all have care for other nations and peoples...love nadia

      January 11, 2011 at 3:31 pm | Report abuse |
  29. Alathena

    This comment is directed to the poster "Martin." Do you really think that the mother of these children would just give them away to you to adopt? What about her? Would you just leave her there in Afghanistan because she is not a cute little kid anymore? I cannot stand people like you. These children do not need to be taken away from their mother. They ALL THREE need to be provided for as a family.

    January 6, 2011 at 7:58 pm | Report abuse |
  30. Lauren

    This story makes me feel so overwhelmingly lucky and spoiled. I am sad for all the stupid comments written here. Operation Afghani Freedom certainly didn't bring much freedom if Afghanistan is the worst place in the world to be a child.

    January 6, 2011 at 2:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • The Prophet Mohammed

      @ Lauren- Really? Have you been there? Apparently not. Women can now go to the market on their own without fear the Taliban will execute them to make an example. Children (To include girls) can go to school- The Taliban had all the schools closed. People can listen to music now (all music was banned by the Taliban). It might not be America (and it NEVER will be) but they at least have a taste of freedom- very basic freedom and they now have a future which is more than they had before. You can thank the US Soldiers and NATO forces for that, next time you see a Soldier make sure you tell them "thank you".

      January 6, 2011 at 8:56 pm | Report abuse |
  31. James Hood

    It's a nice post over here.
    --------
    http://www.debtadviceni.com

    January 6, 2011 at 6:14 am | Report abuse |
  32. melik

    This little desperate kid scravenges difused items for her family at least to do someting much bigger than her age, is going out haul thins up on her tiny shoulder. how about the hynies scravenges carrions in Afganistan today?

    January 6, 2011 at 5:10 am | Report abuse |
  33. Gule

    Here is another website u can go to help...Khaled is the author of the Kite runner, he is also work for UNICEF.

    http://www.khaledhosseinifoundation.org/

    January 5, 2011 at 10:53 pm | Report abuse |
  34. Dan in Lafayette, IN

    Nothing but insanity from a fool who believes man can transform himself into another by a miracle from God! And ever since the inception of Islam there has been war between Islam and other religions and also within it's own religion, so you cannot call Islam peace!

    January 5, 2011 at 10:07 pm | Report abuse |
  35. Christine

    Hi Arwa,

    I too was so moved by Marjan and her sister/family. I also viewed the clip on Skateistan. Is there a way I could help? There has got to be a way. Please advise.

    January 5, 2011 at 4:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dan in Lafayette, IN

      The only way to help is to stop this useless and unnecessary war.

      January 5, 2011 at 11:16 pm | Report abuse |
  36. Christine

    Hi Arwa,

    I too was so moved by Marjan and her sister/family. I also viewed the clip on Skateistan. Is there a way I could help? There is got to be a way. Please advise.

    January 5, 2011 at 4:58 pm | Report abuse |
  37. Dan in Lafayette, IN

    You are very correct Sanity.

    January 5, 2011 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |
  38. MK

    All – Just checked Arwa's twitter feed, you can help kids like Marjan by visiting and making a donation to UNICEF or Aschiana Foundation. Below is the link for Aschiana.

    http://www.aschiana-foundation.org

    Thanks
    Murali

    January 5, 2011 at 1:30 pm | Report abuse |
  39. MK

    To CNN Editor and Arwa Damon: Thank you for bringing this tale to light. I've been looking for some contact (like many of the commentators below) to do my bit in helping Marjan. I would like to help in making Marjan's dream of becoming a teacher come true. It'll be great if you can setup a trust fund and point us the way to it, like you do for most of your impact the world stories.

    To All: Let's for once think beyond boundaries, beyond religion and do our bit in helping those who are in need.

    Thanks.

    January 5, 2011 at 4:14 am | Report abuse |
  40. Molly Blair

    Please, please let me know how I can help Marjan and her family. No five year old child should have to go through this.

    January 5, 2011 at 2:03 am | Report abuse |
  41. merid

    We can help them by building them a home for families like themselves and providing them education and the kids need to be adopted from the parents in order to get help. They need to be sponsored to the americas as refugees by a family. That is the first step.

    January 5, 2011 at 1:21 am | Report abuse |
    • Mei

      Taking a child away from her mother or separating a mother from her child is not the way to go. That is appalling and cruel! Someone can help both if they can afford to help the child. I hope the reporter will set up a fund for this family or a way to get donations to them. When they place a story like this in the world news, they need to have a way for people to help. That should be the real reason for the story .. to help the child and her family.

      January 8, 2011 at 10:56 pm | Report abuse |
  42. Nat

    I would like to know if anyone got response from Arwa with regards to supporting this child and her family...or other children of Afghanistan in need. any information will be much appreciated.

    January 4, 2011 at 11:14 pm | Report abuse |
  43. Cynthia

    Here is a link to an organization where you can become involved. I'm not sure of the extent of outreach to Afghanistan; just check them out and see if this is where you want to place your money and or your time. At least it is a link, I've seen no others provided at this point.

    http://www.feedthechildren.org/site/PageServer?pagename=org_intl_programs

    January 4, 2011 at 8:56 pm | Report abuse |
  44. Alejandra Labra

    I would like to know if there is a way to help this family and others. Thank you

    January 4, 2011 at 6:37 pm | Report abuse |
  45. Lindsay

    I would also like to help this family by sending money, food, clothing or blankets. Please let me know how I can help.

    January 4, 2011 at 3:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • BUBBA--ALABAMA STYLE!!!

      First,by stopping this stupid war. That's how the right-wing thugs in Washington can help but,tragically enough won't! That's the only way this girl like so many others will get help! Are you people too naive to understand that???

      January 4, 2011 at 4:56 pm | Report abuse |
      • Bledsoe

        Hello-Daniel-2....

        January 4, 2011 at 5:09 pm | Report abuse |
      • Bledsoe

        Sorry Bubba,like you I noticed the naivety of the people blogging in here. They just don't get it. We need to stop this obnoxious war before we can do anything for this girl or anybody else over there and that's that!!!

        January 4, 2011 at 5:41 pm | Report abuse |
      • Carole Clarke

        These people lived this kind of life long before we got there, long before the Russians and long before the British in the 1800's. While we need to get out of this war for our own reasons, it will not stop this poverty and the tragedy of their lives. That woman needs to find a decent man to support her and her children, perhaps one who lost his family to the war. Literacy programs will break the initial barrier to learning. Peace should improve trade to the area and repaired roads thru the passes will work towards that. Of course, it will also allow opium and heroin to move more freely, to satisfy the cravings of people right here in the USA. This is the ying and yang of international statecraft.

        January 4, 2011 at 8:00 pm | Report abuse |
      • George Patton

        Carole,had the Russians prevailed there 30 years ago,this girl and millions like her wouldn't be going through what they're suffering today. Why are the people too naive to see that? Have they been that brainwashed? And I thought people learned by going to High School!!!

        January 5, 2011 at 3:03 pm | Report abuse |
      • BUBBA--ALABAMA STYLE!!!

        How right you are,George. When I went to High School,people did learn a lot about world affairs,not like today. I don't know what people study in High School today but judging by most of these posts,it can't be too much!!!

        January 5, 2011 at 3:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • MM

      For those who are interested in helping, I know of one agency running a hospital in Kabul- Cure International (www.cure,.org). They focus on providing medical treatment for pregnant women, babies, & children. According to statistics compiled on Wikipedia, Afghanistan has the 2nd highest infant mortality rate in the world.

      A local radio station (http://www.morningswithbrant.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=507:the-knitting-project&catid=2:stuff-you-heard-on-the-show&Itemid=14) recently had a drive to have listeners knit, sew & crochet blankets to be given to newborns- as the story shows, many of these people do not even have adequate ways of staying warm.

      January 5, 2011 at 8:54 am | Report abuse |
      • Elizabeth

        MM – It's wonderful there is an organization helping. I wonder if they give the mothers birth control? The best way to not have starving children is to simply not have children. I know that sounds cold, believe me, I'm a grandmother and the more children born to those who can feed and clothe them, the better... but in this situation it seems it would be better to simply stop having children for a while. Even in our own country, responsible people don't have children they cannot adequately care for. How many of us wanted 6 kids but stopped at 2 because we could care for 2 and not 6? Birth control must be part of the solution!

        January 16, 2011 at 2:59 pm | Report abuse |
  46. Carole Clarke

    Glad that everyone wants to help but there are hundreds of thousands of children just like this in Afghanistan and in the teeming stews of Pakistan's big cities. Sadly, it's not in the best interests of the warlords and local politicians to help them. You could set this family up in a nice little place but without a working husband, the mother is dependent upon other relatives. What man at her level would marry a woman with so many children to feed? The customs of her people keep her poor, illiterate and desperate. One of the things we tried to do there was to break open all these stultifying customs and get them education, which is the only thing that will lift them up. But as soon as a woman tries to lift herself up she is beaten down because the "honor" of the men of her tribe demands it. Donations are usually stolen by those higher up before they ever get down to people like this. You'd have to go there yourself and pull out quilted clothing for the children, insulated shoes, a store of food and slip the mother money she could hide on her person away from selfish eyes. You can't save all these people, but you can educate them so they can save themselves.

    January 4, 2011 at 3:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dan in Lafayette, IN

      I would like to help also but I can;t, I'm in need too but my prayers are with all of the Afghan people who have been forgotten by their rulers!

      January 5, 2011 at 12:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dan in Lafayette, IN

      Nothing but insanity from a fool who believes man can transform himself into another by a miracle from God!

      January 5, 2011 at 6:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dan in Lafayette, IN

      Ever since Islam was born there has been war between Islam and other religions and even within itself, so you cannot call it peace!

      January 5, 2011 at 6:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • The Prophet Mohammed

      @ Dan in Lafayette- once one side (Shea or Sunni) wins there will be peace- for about a week.

      January 6, 2011 at 9:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Priya

      U r a psycho

      January 7, 2011 at 12:45 pm | Report abuse |
  47. C. C. DiMauro

    When I saw this moving and pathetic story, I was appalled by the next lead in " students in the US using textbooks that are out of date" . I would have preferred to hear " CNN and it's employees are delivering 1000 blankets to Afghan children".

    January 4, 2011 at 2:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • The Prophet Mohammed

      CNN was going to do that but they couldn't find enough clown suits for their reporters.

      January 6, 2011 at 9:03 pm | Report abuse |
  48. theresa

    this story so touched me. I have so many children's clothes they could use & crayons they could use to learn & draw
    And no way to get them there . . .is there any way to help directly?

    January 4, 2011 at 2:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • The Prophet Mohammed

      Sure, send all the crayons you want but don't send money or anything easily transferred to money or it will end up in the hands of the Taliban.

      January 6, 2011 at 9:01 pm | Report abuse |
  49. Joy

    I was also incredibly moved by this story. I just kept seeing my own child's face in Marjan's, and I can't imagine that mother's pain of losing a child to the cold. Arwa, what agencies can I support that are working to help children like Marjan, if not Marjan herself?

    January 4, 2011 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bledsoe

      I was not-Daniel-2!

      January 4, 2011 at 5:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bledsoe

      Sorry Joy,I didn't post the above. That was Phunnie boy trying to be funny. Just ignore him!

      January 4, 2011 at 5:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bledsoe

      Silly-Daniel-2

      January 5, 2011 at 2:55 pm | Report abuse |
  50. Paula Pina

    I would like to help this family. How can i do this?

    January 4, 2011 at 2:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • BUBBA--ALABAMA STYLE!!!

      Simple,by stopping this useless war which is helping only the MIC(military-industrial-complex) in Washington to fill their coffers!

      January 4, 2011 at 5:00 pm | Report abuse |
      • Bledsoe

        Hello-Daniel-2...

        January 4, 2011 at 5:08 pm | Report abuse |
  51. Dan in Lafayette, IN

    Is there any way to stop Pfunnie boy from blogging in here to make one of his sick jokes out of this situation? I get so sick and tired of him making a joke out of this obnoxious war and every aspect of it!

    January 4, 2011 at 2:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bledsoe

      Sadly enough Dan,the answer to your question is evidently No. As one can see,this bozo's posting his jokes under my name. He evidently thinks that what this girl is going through very funny like everything else and uses this post to get his laugh out of life. There's no stopping him!!!

      January 4, 2011 at 5:48 pm | Report abuse |
      • Dan in Lafayette, IN

        That's OK Bledsoe,I believe you.

        January 4, 2011 at 5:58 pm | Report abuse |
      • Bledsoe

        Really?-Daniel-2?

        January 5, 2011 at 2:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dan in Lafayette, IN

      If the Taliban had not disregarded families struggling in this manner and used their money they had for the poor and dis- advantaged instead of their war machine then there would be less families struggling like this one. And phony boy there were problems like this way before the US got involved in Afghanistan!

      January 5, 2011 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • april huening

      hey if u find a way to actually help i've been asking for days as well please send my info, thanks, and yeah tired of heartless subhumans leaving nasty remarks too... dont know how they get past the moderator? sometimes when i try to post it makes me await approval, dont get it? Hey we are close to one another to lets try and set up some help for these poor lil' ones my kids are even up for it, 3 & 4 1/2 yrs old ready to give sooooo much of their stuff.. we live in Indiana too.. thanks best wishes. hope we can do anything something's better than nothing. April

      January 6, 2011 at 11:57 pm | Report abuse |
  52. Kim Smith

    Please contact me about this child. I want to help her. If you know of any way of getting items to her or her family that would be helpful. I will do a money/product drive if necessary.

    January 4, 2011 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
  53. wendy

    I would love to send her some blankets and clothes. Could you please contact me.
    I have three girls and this really touched my heart. wac

    January 4, 2011 at 12:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jamie

      I got some poor kids in my neighborhood, send me the money and blankets, I'll pass it out to the kids here, you know that old saying about you can't help somebody else till you help yourself, that goes for countries too!!

      January 14, 2011 at 12:20 pm | Report abuse |
  54. Asif

    I like to help this family as well and also like to know what other families out there that need help, so help can be reached to more families like this.

    Regards,
    Asif

    January 4, 2011 at 12:52 pm | Report abuse |
  55. Martin

    Is there any attempt to move Marjan and her sister out of the country ? We would like to help or if possible adopt them.

    January 4, 2011 at 12:37 pm | Report abuse |
  56. boushra alchabaoun

    My foundation would like to help support this family, how do we do this? PLEASE PLEASE respond to me

    January 4, 2011 at 12:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      Will the thugs in Washington PLEASE stop this unnecessary and useless war??? They won't and that's the problem!!!

      January 4, 2011 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse |
      • Bledsoe

        Hello-Daniel-2..

        January 4, 2011 at 5:07 pm | Report abuse |
      • Dan in Lafayette, IN

        Good posting,John. I totally agree.

        January 10, 2011 at 7:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • The Prophet Mohammed

      I'd like to help too, does anyone know where I need to send my trash?

      January 15, 2011 at 3:20 am | Report abuse |
  57. Lata

    Hi Arwa,

    I am really moved by this story and would like to help this desperate child.......please let me know how can I do this?

    Thanks in advance.
    Lata.

    January 4, 2011 at 12:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bledsoe

      It's too bad that the right-wing thugs in Washington don't feel the same way you do! If they did,they'd stop this obnoxious war overnight!!!

      January 4, 2011 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
      • Bledsoe

        Hello-Daniel-2.

        January 4, 2011 at 5:06 pm | Report abuse |
      • Learn To Fish

        You tell 'em! End the war and no child will face hardship ever again. Afghanistan will go back to the peaceful place it was before the evil US invasion and the sky will be filled with double rainbows. Well, that is unless this young girl wants to go to school, become a professional, or just about anything under the Taliban rule... just search for "taliban treatment of women" for some enlightenment.

        January 4, 2011 at 6:51 pm | Report abuse |
      • Bledsoe

        You evidently agree with Joseph McCarthy and so do I,Learn To Fish. The Communists should have prevailed there 30 years ago.

        January 4, 2011 at 7:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Poor little ones

      This is just like China except in China they use acid to remove tiny amounts of gold and lead from old computer boards.

      January 5, 2011 at 4:07 pm | Report abuse |
      • Bledsoe

        You again,Daniel-2!

        January 5, 2011 at 4:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Madame

      But why do you feel as if you must help this child? Aren't you there to kill her family? Are there not some children you could save in this country? There are many hungry, homeless Americans, you don't have to go to another country, lets start here first, and show some compassion for those in this country who are doing the same thing.
      What is the cause of this, why it is the same all over the world, religion the downfall of human beings.

      January 7, 2011 at 10:23 pm | Report abuse |
      • john

        You should never stop anyone from helping someone less fortunate.

        January 11, 2011 at 8:56 pm | Report abuse |
      • Chirag Patel

        very ignorant mentality

        January 16, 2011 at 7:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Prem Kalicharan

      Its a difficult mission. The US is responsible for so much of the suffering there. If you give to the Red Cross it will not get to the victim you intend to receive. I am looking for people in the US to form an organization, collect used clothing and expired foods, and then each member take turns to travel there and distribute them the way he/she deems fit. Every bit counts. Yes, I hate the Taliban and I dont like the way we are destroying the lives of defenseless children.

      January 8, 2011 at 10:25 am | Report abuse |
      • Just a Fly Fisher

        Hang on a minute, Prem.

        There was just as much poverty in Afghanistan before the war. There was just as much childhood disease. There was just as much childhood mortality. And to top it off, girl children were legally forbidden to attend school even if there families could send them and wished to do so. This may be hard to get your America-hating head around, but for all the suffering that remains in Afghanistan, most Afghans today – especially girls and women – are much better off than they were under Taliban rule.

        Finally, let's not forget why we are in Afghanistan – because the Taliban harbored and aided Al Qaida and are jointly responsible for the deaths of 3,000 (mostly) Americans on September 11, 2001. We owed them payback, and now that they've had it, we owe the people of Afghanistan a stable country and we can't leave until that's done.

        Now, if you were talking about Iraq, I expect we'd agree. Saddam Hussein was a brutal tyrant and the world and the Iraqi people are both better off without him, but that wasn't really our business. The resources and international good will we diverted to Iraq and squandered are the reason we are still in Afghanistan. If we'd stuck to the fight that was our fight, we'd almost certainly already be done there by now. I think we can agree on that much.

        January 8, 2011 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse |
      • The Prophet Mohammed

        @Just a Fly Fisher- Very well put, Tight Lines.

        January 9, 2011 at 1:39 am | Report abuse |
      • varte

        let's try to look at it this way.No matter where a child or a woman or a man suffers,we all played a part either by ignorance or by condoning it with our silence.if indeed we want to help or change things for the better,lets not put play the blame game or take sides,let us just start "HELPING".THAT will actually improve or make a difference in the lives of people we wanted to help in the beginning.

        January 13, 2011 at 12:00 pm | Report abuse |
      • The Prophet Mohammed

        @ Prem Kalicharan- WHAT???? NO, The Taliban are mostly responsible and the Afghan people as well for not standing up against the Taliban in the first place and taking control of their own destiny, don't blame the us for their suffering, I blame the US because there is still and Afghanistan and their is still a Taliban; there is way too many nukes in the world- maybe the US should have used a few. All of you hippies and Tree Huggers don't even bother to comment- I don't care and I will be fishing.

        January 15, 2011 at 3:19 am | Report abuse |