People Helping People in Afghanistan: Marigold’s Humanitarian Work

The Marigold Fund works to help rebuild Afghanistan while building friendships along the way. Learn how this NGO based in Massachusetts and overseas in Takhar, Afghanistan focuses on developing social service, public health, and education for the betterment of Afghan citizens.

Laughing Well at Baland Oba school. 2008 Gary Moorehead

The Marigold Fund is a non-governmental organization (NGO) working to rebuild Afghanistan’s communities by building relationships between local Afghans and Westerners.

Marigold focuses on developing programs in the areas of social service, public health, and education for the betterment of Afghan citizens.

Marigold’s mission is “to help Afghans rebuild their country after decades of war, and to establish substantial friendship and understanding between Afghans and Westerners.”

Marigold strongly believes in the importance of relationships as the key to making effective changes in these communities. Living and working alongside Afghan villagers creates a personal relationship that gives insight into their culture and from these relations Marigold identifies and prioritizes their programs.

New Englander Gary Moorehead, who has lived in Afghanistan since 2003, founded Marigold in 2004. Marigold’s office is located in Amherst, Massachusetts, and field based in Taloqan City, Takhar, Afghanistan.

Moorehead calls Marigold’s Afghanistan base home. “I’ve been there seven years now. It is quite stimulating, educational and enjoyable to be able to regularly dwell in, explore and integrate with these various places, but I’m pretty bad with air travel and so don’t much like all the coming and going.”

Moorehead also calls Amherst and Oxfordshire, England, home, with his England base serving as the perfect transitional home while traveling back and forth betwen Afghanistan and the States.

When asked if there was a large difficultly with adapting to Afghan culture, Moorehead replied, “A challenge that living in Afghanistan presents and reveals in my own character is what a privileged, voracious consumer I am.”

“It is quite fascinating, funny and horrifying! I do like good, slow food of traditional character, but more often I want my food and other goods fast, on the go or on-hand with as little prep time and yet as many options and venues as possible.”

Noting his American consumerist identity and learning from Afghan culture, Moorehead has grown to appreciate Afghanistan’s modest resources.

There are also eye-opening realities to living in this country that are foreign to most Americans. These harsh realities include violence, and Moorehead experiences this first-hand in his Afghan village.

People Helping People in Afghanistan: Marigold’s Humanitarian Work