Lanny Cordola arrived in Afghanistan in 2016 with nothing but a few belongings, his guitar and a determination to make a difference in the lives of the Afghan children affected by the war.
As well as being a well-known musician from California, he left behind a life of luxury in the US to set up the Miraculous Love Kids (MLK) organisation in Kabul that provided music training to children working on the streets.
Alongside music classes, MLK provides lessons to the children in English and language literacy in Dari and Pashtu, among other subjects. Many of the children face poverty and are out of school, earning daily wages on the streets to support their families.
“Being on the streets of Kabul, these children are vulnerable to the violence. We try to use music to help them heal from the trauma they see and face regularly,” Cordola said.
But after four difficult years, Cordola’s work has grown increasingly challenging as the security situation in Kabul has worsened. Despite the deal between the US and the Taliban last year and the ongoing process of political settlement with the Afghan government, there has been a substantial increase in daily violence across the country. In the last two weeks of December in Kabul alone, more than 24 civilians were killed and 89 injured in security incidents across the city, Tolo News reported.
“We had to stay under the radar as much as possible – we frequently change times and days of our sessions with the kids. I am also having the kids bring one of their parents to help keep an eye on things,” Cordola said.
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