Tom Little, originally from Kinderhook, New York, is the program director at the National Organization for Ophthalmic Rehabilitation, NOOR, in Kabul, Afghanistan. Little
and his wife, Libby, came to Afghanistan in the 1979 with their five-year-old daughter
as missionaries to help wayward hippies. Within weeks he connected with the NOOR
center, which opened in 1966, and began working as an optician. He and his family
have stayed ever since--even during Taliban rule--raising three
daughters and caring for the eyesight of the people of Afghanistan. NOOR operates
roughly a dozen eye camps throughout the country and each years cares for roughly
225,000 Afghanis and operated on more than 14,000 patients. His work continues
to this day, helping the people of Afghanistan while Libby teaches at an international
school in Kabul. One of his daughters, Nelika, is following in the families footsteps
working for an NGO that helped oversee elections in 2005 and other transitionary
oversight as the country begins to slowly move towards a more democratic society.
UPDATE: Tom Little was one of eight aid workers killed in Afghanistan in early August 2010 by Taliban. Little had worked in Afghanistan for more than 30 years and was one of six Americans killed. The six were medical workers belonging to the Christian aid group International Assistance Mission. The other victims included a German, a Briton and two Afghan interpreters.
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