Location and general information
The legacy of decades of war in Afghanistan is a nationwide breakdown of social and economic structures. Poverty is the main determinant of child labour. Many families have no choice but to send their children out to work. Street work is the most common among children: they sell items such as cigarettes and newspapers all day long, exposed to harsh conditions and under threat of abuse.
Action for Development has decided to tackle the issue of street children by launching an innovative project in the streets of Kabul that combines football with educational and nutritional services. The socio-sports school for street children will have a positive impact on marginalised youth wherever it is applied. Afghanistan’s context makes it a particularly good target for this project, not only because of the rapidly growing interest in football and the sport’s impact on the country generally, but also the positive effect it will have on girls in particular.
Children over the age of six who have the potential to be reintegrated into the formal school system will be identified. This will be done in collaboration with local authorities, schools and parents.
Meeting with families of children attending the school for awareness training. Mothers will be taught about topics such as children’s hygiene, disease and the dangers of drugs and prostitution. Special emphasis is placed on young girls’ issues as they are often the most vulnerable of street children.
Identifying children willing to take part i
n the project. As many as 120 children have already been enrolled but more children are to be given the opportunity to do so. Children need to be committed to attend the training sessions. Priority is given to orphans and children who have a disabled parent, and 50% of the participants must be girls.
Those children in need of medical assistance will be sent to the general health centre where they will be provided with free healthcare.
Sports activities will be run by coaches at fixed times during the week. Groups are formed according to age and where necessary by gender, and each group will have two sessions each week. The school’s tutoring activities will be held before or after the sports activities. All activities will be conducted in Dari and in Pashto, the main languages in Afghanistan. Attendance of the tutoring activities will be flexible to allow the children to keep working as this is still their only means of survival.
- The overall objective of this project is to provide the street children of Kabul’s district 11 with an opportunity to gain a basic education and learn to read and write.
- Find a suitable location where the children typically work to avoid long commutes on foot.
- Have suitable facilities for the socio-sports school that is easily accessible to children, close to the road, near the Ghazi high school (15-minute walk), and has a football pitch that could be used for playing football and training.
- To develop social abilities through sport and football especially and help them integrate into normal school programmes.
- Train coaches to promote knowledge transfer and empower the local population
- Provide 400 street children with extra nutrition and access to primary medical care
- Reduce the number of illiterate street children
- Work with 300 families to reintegrate some of the street children into the formal school system
- Teach 300 families about the risks of street work, the importance of education, and hygiene and sanitation to reduce risks of disease