More than four decades of conflict and insecurity has displaced thousands of families inside Afghanistan. These families struggle to survive and live in safety - and their children continue to suffer most from the ongoing armed conflict. In addition to the risk of killing and maiming as a direct result of the conflict, Afghan children face numerous other rights violations, including forced marriage, corporal punishment and hazardous working conditions.
The country is in chaos due to the interweaving social, economic and political problems that have beset the country over the past thirty years. Violence has escalated since the Taliban regrouped in early 2014 - UN figures show that there were more than 5,000 civilian casualties (deaths and injuries) during the first six months of 2016 alone . Nearly one in three of these casualties were children. The security situation remains precarious.
Improvements in social sectors have occurred but progress has been slow and has not benefitted everybody equally. School enrolment has increased from 1 million to 8.7 million since 2002, according to World Bank figures, but disparities between girls and boys remain. Currently, some 36 per cent of the school population are girls . The shortage of schools and inadequate infrastructure (causing long walking distances) remain the biggest barriers to enrolment.
What we do
War Child Holland does not have a Country Office in Afghanistan but instead supports the work of War Child UK. Programmes are implemented both directly and through local partner organisations.
The ECCD programme is designed to support children aged from four to six in their development until early primary school. The project has also targeted 175 street-working children in Kabul with education and life skills modules to enable them to protect themselves in the local labour market.
300 Young children have received educational and psychosocial support to date and display improved learning skills and cognitive well-being. 168 street children are regularly following classes. 10 volunteers have been trained to teach the ECCD curriculum. The programme was extended in August 2016 to incorporate Parent DEALS, an educational programme to help mothers better raise and educate their children.