Although the Taliban regime was overturned in Afghanistan in 2001, the situation after 28 years of conflict is still not very promising. More than one million civilians have been killed and approximately one tenth of the population disabled. There are over two million Afghan refugees in Iran and Pakistan.
In 1979, Afghanistan was invaded by and became embroiled in a war with the Soviet Union. After the Soviets withdrew in 1989, the conflict developed into a civil war. The conflict has since evolved into a regional conflict, as part of which Afghan and Western troops engage in daily battle with Taliban and Al Qaida insurgents primarily in the southern and eastern parts of the country.
WAR CHILD HOLLAND PROGRAMS
War Child Holland runs programs in Afghanistan since the end of 2003. War Child priorities the promotion of children’s rights through physical education and traditional Afghan games and music. The programme integrates several projects, which have physical education as a core project component.
The national 2004-2007 Physical Education Project Afghanistan (PEPA) contributes to the psychosocial and emotional wellbeing of children by (a) developing a physical education curriculum, (b) training physical education teachers and (c) providing information about the important role that physical education plays in children’s development. This project is being implemented in schools and educational institutions, the Ministry of Education, and in communities in Heart and Kabul. The PEPA project primarily targets children in schools.
The development of child friendly schools is a prerequisite to get non-school attending working children back to school and to improve school performance in general. The Child Friendly School project aims to create an environment where children can learn, play and interact. Via several consultations at schools in Herat and Kabul, the children, teachers and parents will identify their needs and develop School Improvement Plans making their schools 'child-friendly'. Based on these plans War Child will provide teacher training, playing and educational materials and facilitate infrastructure improvements.Communities are supported in constructing child friendly schools, encouraging and supporting them to properly maintain their child friendly schools once constructed.
Offering creative workshops and reading and writing lessons, the Working Children Outreach (WOCO) project targets a population of children who have few other opportunities to develop through sports, games or informal education. A local non-governmental organisation, Turkmen Youth Organisation (TYA) helps to bring these children into regular education by impressing upon their parents or caregivers that the children’s education is important and by providing the children with basic knowledge and social skills. The project primarily targets disadvantaged children in Herat, such as street and working children.