At 0800 on Monday 20 October in Kabul Afghanistan, Gayle Williams, 34 years old, one of the women workers of the SERVE Afghanistan team, a joint South African UK national, was walking to work. Gayle was shot and killed shortly before she was due to arrive at the office. Reports say that two men on a motorcycle shot her and then fled the scene. She died
almost immediately. She was a person who always loved the Afghans and was dedicated to serving those who are disabled
Gayle was not a woman who thought of herself. Her time and energy were always spent on behalf of others. She spent many years caring one to one for severely special needs students, but in the last few years she made the brave decision to offer her skills and time to care for the many disabled and disadvantaged in Afghanistan as a volunteer. Gayle worked for nearly two years in Kandahar and Kabul directing projects to integrate the disabled into mainstream education and provide them with opportunities for a better life. She never spoke of the rigours and privations of aid work in Kandahar, one of the most difficult places for a young woman to work in the world, but she kept a smile on her face and always had a good humoured chuckle at the difficulties she must have endured.
As a British South African Gayle had the plucky adventurous spirit of the country she loved so much. Accustomed to the risks of South Africa today, the dangers of the Afghan warzone did not phase her, but she pressed on. A highly trained fitness instructor, Gayle was never happier than climbing a mountain, playing sports or going for a run.
Gayle was a loving daughter and sister and a devoted friend to many. She was always so fun to be with and laughter and jokes came easily as we would sit having coffee. People were so important to Gayle; she cared deeply for her friends and family and would always go out of her way to help and support her loved ones.
Gayle will be remembered as one of the inspiring people of the world who truly put others before herself. She was killed violently while caring for the most forgotten people in the world; the poor and the disabled. She herself would not regret taking the risk of working in Afghanistan. She was where she wanted to be – holding out a helping hand to those in need.
For more information Serve Afghanistan