Description of the programme in Afghanistan

In 2007, War Child began implementing its four-year programme focusing on the promotion of children's rights through physical education and traditional Afghan games and music. Children's access to formal and non-formal physical education was improved, particularly for girls and working children.

The programme integrated three projects carried out by War Child in 2006. (1) The national PEPA programme (Physical Education Promotion in Afghanistan, 2004-2007), promoting children's psychosocial and emotional wellbeing, (2) the WOCO project (Working Children Outreach), aimed at children with limited access to sports, play and educational facilities for personal development, and (3) the Rangeen Kaman project ("Rainbow") set up to make communities more aware of the positive effects of play and interaction on children.

Afghan street kids selling fruit

Physical education
The physical education component of the programme promotes children's psychosocial and emotional wellbeing by (1) developing a physical education curriculum in association with the Afghan Ministry of Education, (2) training physical educators and (3) providing information about the vital role of physical education in children's development. The project is carried out in schools run by the Ministry of Education and in various communities in Herat and Kabul.

Child-friendly schools
Another important component of the programme is the development of child-friendly schools that allow children to learn and play in safety. Security is a precondition if War Child is to encourage working children with no access to education to go to school. Consultation meetings at schools in Herat and Kabul allow children, teachers and parents to express their wishes and develop 'school improvement plans' to make their schools more child-friendly. War Child supports communities by educating their teachers, providing play and educational materials, and improving the infrastructure.

Child labour
In addition to activities in schools, War Child has recently engaged in co-operation with the provincial trade union council in Herat to establish contacts with working children. The union council mainly consists of employers. This gives War Child the opportunity to address the issue of child labour with the 3000 member employers and to petition for child protection measures. Co-operation with the council helps the organisation to offer working children access to educational facilities and (re)creative activities.

Door de bril van

Karen Doubilet, researcher and doctoral candidate at the Bar-Ilan University in Tel Aviv

Karen Doubilet, researcher in Tel Aviv: “In this hotbed of ethno-political conflict, Arab and Jewish youth are sharing a vision for a joint future.”

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