FROM EXODUS TO MORE SELF-CONFIDENCE

In Afghanistan thousands of domestic refugees live in poverty. A project brings education and acrobatics into their lives.

 

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The activities of the social circus program are especially popular among the children and young people from the refugee camps. (c) Asbach / Welthungerhilfe

Project Goal

Creating sustainable livelihoods for displaced and returning Afghan families

Region

Afghanistan, including Kabul, Paghman and Shakar Dara

Target Group

Aid is provided to 23,485 people – in the form of literacy programs, measures to improve income, improvements in agricultural infrastructure, training in agricultural techniques and psychological counseling and social work with children.

Term

July 2015 to March 2019

 

For forty years, armed conflicts have been raging in Afghanistan, claiming victims every day. The economy is bankrupt, people are afraid and are fleeing their homes to seek asylum in other countries or to seek refuge in the refugee camps of Afghan cities. As a result, the province of Kabul has had to integrate an enormous number of internal displaced persons and returnees. In the capital city alone, 40,000 people are living in slums. They live in ramshackle mud huts without running water, electricity or adequate toilets. Families have lost everything: their land, their cattle, their culture and their future. The children know only war, they are traumatized. Their parents never had the opportunity to attend a school. They lack medical care, education and incomes. What do these people need to escape from poverty and despair?

 

Reading, writing and breeding chickens

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Kabul: Afghan Refugees in the Chaman-E-Babrak Camp. (c) Sadaat / Welthungerhilfe

Welthungerhilfe provides aid to about 25,000 internally displaced persons in three towns in the province of Kabul. Classes are given in which adults learn to read and write. Most of them are women. They also learn to earn a living, e.g. by breeding poultry and growing vegetables, even in the limited space they have available in the camps. Tailoring courses are also well attended. Selling these products improves family income.

But Welthungerhilfe has to be cautious and consider traditions. "Giving jobs to women shakes the self-image and self-confidence of the men", says Katja Richter, Welthungerhilfe Country Director in Afghanistan. For this reason, Welthungerhilfe includes men and and teaches them how much the whole family can benefit when women work part-time.

 

Success through magic tricks

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View from Mount Kohi Asamayi (TV Hill) of southwestern Kabul in the evening light. (c) Christoph Püschner

Welthungerhilfe and its local partners are also working with children and adolescents from 22 refugee camps and their surrounding communities. They build play areas with "funtainers" where boys and girls can run around, paint, play and do crafts in peace. The "funtainers" are supervised by specially trained teams. The activities of the social circus program are especially popular and effective. The children learn to resolve conflicts, help each other, and experience success, e.g. when they learn a magic trick that works. In this way, they gain self-confidence - for most, a whole new experience.

  

In their own meetings, children learn about democracy. In these assemblies, so-called Children's Shuras, both boys and girls learn how to formulate and express their concerns. They create posters and present them in front of other children. A highlight is the Regional Children's Shura. The last time, 64 boys and girls from eight camps met for two days in the partner organization's children's center. Welthungerhilfe has developed a "Young Leaders" program which allows motivated young people to practice democratic processes, strengthen their personality and develop visions for the future. The goal is to be able to advocate for their interests one day, and for those of all internally displaced persons in Afghanistan.

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A Project by

Welthungerhilfe

Welthungerhilfe (WHH)

Welthungerhilfe is one of the largest private aid organizations in Germany and is committed to a secure diet, the development of agriculture and the conservation of resources.

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