(Kopie 1)

History of the Chak-e-Wardak-Hospital since 1989

In 1989, shortly after the Soviet troops had left Afghanistan the former German-Afghan-Committee (DAK) decided to build, with financial assistance
of the European Union, a hospital in Chak-e-Wardak. Even during the Soviet occupation, the DAK had been conducting medical relief operations in the
region and had chosen the location in Chak about 65 km SW of Kabul. This place is situated in the immediate vicinity and protection of a hydroelectric
power plant built by Siemens between 1938 and 1942.

The hydroelectric power plant had never been attacked during the wars and obviously provided the needed shelter against military aggression. This choice proved fortunate, as the Chak area has remained peaceful ever since 1989. The water of the River Chak and the healthy highland climate (2400 m above sea level) also add to the good suitability of the location.Karla Schefter, former head-OT nurse from the city of Dortmund, Germany, who had also worked in Sadda and Khost for the DAK, was given the job to go to Chak, accompanied by two doctors and to start work as nursing officer and trainer there. First, they started a provisional two-room outpatient ward in the hydroelectric power plant where they worked and even operated under extremely primitive means. In July 1989 the eventual building site for the hospital was decided on.

After the council (Shura) had agreed and the EU had given its final promise of financing, they could start to build the first building. Its completion was delayed again and again by various obstacles such as organisational disputes and corrupt Afghan administration.  

Finally, on 26 June 1991 they could move into the new building. Even during these first two years, Karla Schefter came to Germany during the winter, to raise money for the hospital by giving lectures. Her contract with the DAK expiring in December 1991 she was once again asked to return to Chak in January 1992 by the DAK. This time, however, not as a nursing officer but as a project manager.  So she could return to her beloved Afghanistan and even to the same place! However, not for long: In December 1992, the hospital, still under construction, was closed due to the termination of the EU grant. The DAK had to dissolve, because there were not any funds at all. Some of the faithful Afghan staff, however, remained in Chak and went on working unsalaried, to protect the hospital from being looted or misused for other purposes. In the meantime, Karla Schefter used her stay in Germany to convince some of her doctor friends, who had visited Chak before, to found a supporting committee and to donate money to be able to continue.That led to the foundation of our present Committee. (C. P. H. A.)