• About CIVIC

    CIVIC is a Washington-based non-profit organization that believes the civilians injured and the families of those killed should be recognized and helped by the warring parties involved.

    On this blog, you will find stories from our travels around the world as we meet with civilians and military, aid organizations and government in our quest to get war victims the help they need.

  • Countries

  • Contributors

    Sarah, Executive Director

    Marla B, Managing Director

    Kristele, Field Director

    Liz, Chief Communications Officer

    Trevor, CIVIC's fellow based in Afghanistan

    Chris, CIVIC's fellow based in Pakistan

    Jon, CIVIC's US military consultant

  • Media Content

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GUEST BLOG: A View of War Victims From Gardez, Afghanistan

Posted by Erica G from Kabul

I’ve been in Gardez the last week — a small provincial capitol about
two hours south of Kabul. Security is slightly better than this time
last year, when the community was still reeling from nightly
airstrikes in districts just outside of the city. But reports of
targeting and assassination by the Taliban, raids on homes by
international forces and the Afghan army, and sporadic gunfire
exchanges between one or more of the warring parties or criminals are
still common.

Even more concerning, the limited access of many aid workers and the
change in the conflict dynamics means that now as much as ever,
victims of conflict have no way to get help. The Afghan Civilian
Assistance Program is still up and running, and with new staff and
funding authorized they are working hard to reach as many civilians as
possible. But in 2009, the vast majority of civilian deaths have been
due to insurgent attacks, in particular insurgent attacks on Afghan
security forces or government officials. Attacks due to these causes
are not eligible for either ACAP assistance or the limited solatia and
condolence funds that General McChrystal and other US military
officials have been urging troops to use.

Al Qaeda recently announced that it would offer “condolences” for
innocent victims in Afghanistan and other locales. But when you speak
to locals here in Gardez they find the idea that Al Qaeda, the Taliban
or other insurgent groups would give them assistance to be laughable.

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VIDEO BLOG: Qiryot Shemona, Northern Israel

Posted By: Marla B.

CIVIC’s executive director Sarah Holewinski talks briefly from Qiryot Shemona, arguably the hardest hit city in the 2006 war.

VIDEO BLOG: Israel’s Northern Border

Posted By: Marla B.

CIVIC’S Executive Director Sarah Holewinski reports from Israel’s Northern Border with Lebanon.

VIDEO BLOG: War and beauty together

Posted By: Marla B.

Check out this quick video. As we travel to document the lives of war victims, it’s also important to see the balance in life…

Lingering Woes of War

Posted By: Sarah

If you know CIVIC, you know we stay above the fray of politics. It’s not often easy, but we want to focus on the suffering of war victims without getting diverted from their faces, stories, and needs.

Who was hurt? How? What help do they need?

This trip to Lebanon and Israel has made very clear what war victims around the world already knew: war never ends. Even when the bullets and bombs stop, ordinary people are left to pick up the pieces. Bombed out buildings, severe injuries that need years and years of treatment, psychological damage that never heals. It’s 18 months after the 2006 clash between these two countries… and the wounds remain fresh.

And at CIVIC, we’re a bit stubborn. We believe that the warring parties who did the harming should also do the helping. But here? The animosity is so great from side to side, it’s hard to imagine the scenarios where Israel would help Lebanese war victims and vice versa. Still, we have some ideas. Stay tuned.

Sarah

VIDEO BLOG: Israel… working out the details

Posted By: Marla B.

Hey there… as you saw from the previous video, Sarah and I are now in Jerusalem talking to everyone we know and working on finding the correct person to take us up to the North. It is important that we get someone who knows the landscape, the people and can get us to the right places. We have the names and numbers of 3-4 people that would be perfect, but as it is the holiday (Easter etc) and was the Sabbath yesterday we are having some trouble contacting them.

VIDEO BLOG: We’ve arrived in Israel

Posted By: Marla B.

CIVIC arrives in Israel.