After a long period abroad, Laila Haidari came home to Afghanistan to find her brother addicted to drugs. He was living under a bridge with other addicts. Laila Haidari decided to take matters into her own hands.
Laila Haidari is the founder of a rehabilitation facility for drug addicts in Afghanistan. She named the center "Mother Camp” ¬- and is now often called ‘mother’ herself as a sign of gratitude and respect. The budget is small so sometimes there is not enough money to pay for expensive withdrawal medicines. Those going through symptoms have to take cold showers instead. But the facility nonetheless provides addicts with an important space to talk and connect. Haidari’s initiative has become a resounding success in Afghanistan, a country with few state-run rehabilitation centers. She also runs a restaurant which helps fund "Mother Camp,” and provides recovered drug addicts with future prospects. Yet although Laila Haidari does not rely on government or international aid, she is worried about the withdrawal of Western troops. Their presence enabled women in particular to enjoy a certain degree of freedom over the past twenty years, which is now in jeopardy. A report by Marc Erath and Marjana Sadat.