Shelby: Life in Afghanistan can be hard, and even tougher during the bitter cold months of winter.
Escaping violence in their towns, the poorest of the poor end up at camps like these. But without the right shelter, families can be exposed to the brutal weather. That is why Operation Outreach has reached out to help. It is a military charity that provides humanitarian aid to hospitals, villages, orphanages and schools in Afghanistan.
Sergeant Robert Hudson: All of us volunteer our time. This is not our normal duty. Every Friday and every Sunday at 7pm. It can get a little cold in the wintertime, especially working with the water.
Shelby: Among the many donations the volunteers bring in are these fuel pucks that provide clean and free sources of heat.
The pucks are a mix of sawdust and recycled paper. Each is molded by hand, then squeezed in a press and laid out to dry.
Providing both heat and a source of fuel for cooking, the pucks are a potential lifesaver for these families.
Afghanistan is facing its harshest winter in 15 years, a dangerous situation for the 35,000 people living in about 50 camps without electricity or heat.
Operation Outreach President Treone Cooley tries to assist those who struggle the most.
Treone Cooley: We focus mainly on women and children, but the goal is those that are in need, so… and then those that are, sort of, impacted by the war effort.
Shelby: Last year, more than one hundred children in those camps died due to the cold, and with temperatures set to sink even lower this winter, many fear this year’s freeze could claim more lives.
Shelby Holliday, Channel One News.