Peace activist to talk about living in Kabul
JANESVILLE Kathy Kelly will talk about her experiences living alongside ordinary Afghan people at a meeting of the Rock Valley Fellowship of Reconciliation on Wednesday at Basics Co-op.
Kelly coordinates Voices for Creative Nonviolence. Based in Chicago, the campaign works to end U.S. military and economic warfare.
Kelly has been to Afghanistan on month-long visits 10 times, mostly staying in Kabul. Her most recent trip was in January. During each of the trips, she was an invited guest of the Afghan Peace Volunteers, who are working to build relationships between ethnic groups in their country.
“They are determined they want to live without wars,” Kelly said. “When I first met the Afghan women, they said they thought they were losing their minds because they could not feed their children. I’ll talk about the widows and the orphans who are forced to live without fuel, water or electricity.”
Voices for Creative Nonviolence has raised money in the United States and Australia so Afghan women can sew heavy blankets to stay warm. Families in need have received about 2,000 blankets, Kelly said.
From 1996 to 2003, Kelly and other activists formed 70 delegations that openly defied economic sanctions by bringing medicines to children and families in Iraq. Kelly and her companions also lived in Baghdad throughout the 2003 bombing.