Location and general information
Recent drought, flooding, earthquakes, COVID-19 and regime change have had a devastating impact on the most vulnerable groups in Afghanistan, including children who work on the streets and girls in particular.
Large numbers of Afghans have moved to the major cities in search of a means of survival and many children end up working on the streets in dangerous jobs to support their families. They are vulnerable to being abused, sexually exploited, subjected to forced labour, exposed to drugs and recruited by terrorist groups.
Engaging these children in education reduces these risks and helps them to reintegrate into society. Sadly, children in Afghanistan face multiple barriers to education and girls have been barred from school and university entirely.
Action for Development's overall goal is to provide high-quality schooling to girls and disadvantaged children in Afghanistan. The aim is to improve their well-being in the short term and reduce poverty and child labour in the long term.
Education for street-working children
AfD’s schools offer 320 children two hours of high-quality schooling per day, close to where they work, in line with SDGs 1 (no poverty) and 4 (quality education). AfD is working on setting up new learning centres, as well as recruiting and training more teachers in the special needs of street children. AfD develops innovative tailormade teaching materials and is currently establishing a Montessori curriculum and harmonising the existing materials with the formal school curriculum. It is increasing synergies with local schools and continuing to organise awareness sessions promoting education and sports for girls. We also try to integrate as many children as possible into public schools to increase their chances of getting good jobs and break the cycle of poverty.
Health and well-being
All children enrolled in AfD’s education programme receive one healthy meal each day, which for many is the only meal they eat that day (SDG 2: zero hunger). Our Comprehensive Health Centre performs regular health checks, growth monitoring, vaccinations and psychological support in line with SDG 3 (good health and well-being). AfD also offers football coaching in order to entertain and educate the children and let them enjoy their childhoods in a safe environment.
Education for girls above 13 years old
AfD has recently set up a home-based education programme for secondary school aged girls who have been banned from formal government education (SDG 5: gender equality). Currently, 180 girls are enrolled and AfD is working to hire and train more female teachers, find partners to certify exams, improve the programme and identify digital platforms to give more girls access to education.
AfD has established a vocational training programme for 20 male students aged 14–16 (SDG 8: decent work and economic growth). AfD is working with local partners to further improve the learning modules it provides in in-demand skills, such as mechanics, carpentry and gem cutting. We are also working to raise awareness of the importance of providing digital learning to children in emergency situations and conflict zones.