In Afghanistan's northeastern Badakhshan Province, Sharifa feeds rice and bread to her nieces and nephews. The six children are orphans who were left in Sharifa's care when her sister died.
Due to poor conditions, the children's mother bled to death while giving birth in her home. Sharifa says her pregnant sister was not able to travel over the rough roads to a medical center in the city of Faizabad -- just three kilometers from her village -- in time to give birth.
"My sister died while giving birth," Sharifa told the Reuters news agency. "Her orphaned children do not have anyone to take care of them. I am their aunt, so I have to come to take care of them. Sometimes I can't help them. There is no one to care for them. There is no clinic nearby, no cars, and no proper roads. When my sister was about to deliver a baby, we could not take her to the hospital. She stayed at home for one day and one night. Then she died."
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Additional reporting by Ron Synovitz in Prague