Over the years, the Bayat Foundation has undertaken a number of initiatives to improve quality of life for families in Afghanistan. These projects have ranged from water wells to hospitals. The foundation has also offered assistance during some of the country’s most difficult periods, including the harsh winter of 2006/2007, when families struggled to keep warm in below-freezing conditions with limited firewood and only blankets for warmth. That year was especially hard for former refugee families who had returned to Afghanistan only to find devastating conditions in which to live. The inclement weather claimed many lives and received international media attention.
During this particularly hard winter, the Bayat Foundation spearheaded a campaign to raise funds to keep families warm, matching each dollar raised from the international community. Within a few weeks, the campaign raised $131,000, which totaled more than $262,000 when combined with the matching funds. The foundation further covered $40,000 in transportation and delivery expenses to deliver products to families in need, including blankets, oil, coal, warm clothing, and tents. When necessary, the program also offered medical intervention. Altogether, nearly 7,000 families in 15 provinces received vital support to make it through the winter.
The 2006/2007 winter campaign demonstrated the willingness of Afghan people around the world to come together in support of their brothers and sisters. A vital part of the campaign’s success was the Ariana Television Network, which delivers material to Afghan people living around the world. By airing documentaries about the suffering of people in Afghanistan, the network motivated people to support the cause.
Since that winter, the Bayat Foundation has continued to distribute winter aid to families in need.