Thank you for your continued support of children in conflict with the law in Afghanistan. I am thrilled to share with you some of our successes from the first year of our project.
Street Child’s aim in this project is to improve the situation of children in conflict with the law in Afghanistan. We have been working to break the vicious cycle of injustice, improving children’s prospects and encouraging the development of a fairer community!
Over the past year, Street Child, alongside our local partner in Afghanistan, have made significant progress towards our goals. We are excited to share with you these recent successes:
Educational and vocational training
Educational and vocational classes at rehabilitation centres have been well attended and are progressing as planned!Courses provided at Balkh Juvenile Rehabilitation Centre (BJRC) and Kabul Juvenile Rehabilitation Centre (KJRC) have included English classes, computer classes, calligraphy classes, literacy classes, bag making, shoe making, and handicraft courses. Over the past 1.5 years, 207 individuals have participated in our education courses at BJRC (136 males and 71 females) and 50 individuals have participated at KJRC.
Psychosocial support for children
One of the aims of this project was to provide counselling and psychosocial support for children in conflict with the law who are either waiting for their trial or have recently faced trial.
Over the past year, a total of 40 children, including 33 boys and 7 girls, were provided with psychosocial support through the course of 75 individual lessons.
One element of this support is family therapy; this is essential to ensuring acceptance from the family and community upon release, and is critical to the rehabilitation and reintegration of the children. A total of 9 sessions have been conducted so far – each session moves these children closer to where they are supposed to be – with their families and communities at home, rather than in prison.
Case Study – Jawed*
Tired of his abusive father and economic situation, Jawed ran away from home. Young and naïve, Jawed soon became the target of sexual abuse by an older man who offered to give him a place to stay.
As a result of his association with the older man, Jawed was soon arrested and sentenced to 18 months imprisonment at Balkh Juvenile Rehabilitation Centre. Street Child’s social workers managed to overturn Jawed’s case but despite his innocence and youth, Jawed was held in the detention centre for 27 days – a human rights and child rights violation.
When he was finally released, Jawed was formally handed over to an orphanage until his family could come to collect him. However, despite everything Jawed had experienced – abuse from his father, extreme poverty, rape, abuse, and imprisonment – Jawed’s parents contacted the orphanage and told Jawed that he was no longer their son.This was extremely detrimental to Jawed’s mental wellbeing – he was sleeping badly, and began to suffer from a lack of self-confidence and anorexia.
A Street Child social worker intervened, and Jawed began to receive counselling sessions. At his first session, Jawed was diagnosed as depressed and with severe insomnia. After receiving six counselling sessions, Jawed reports that the service has helped him to feel significantly mentally healthier – he is now begin to plan for his future! He says, “I want to be a teacher; you have changed my thoughts with counselling.”
Jawed’s parents were also able to receive counselling over the phone – they learnt that Jawed was not at fault, and are now ready to accept him as their son. Street Child is happy to relay the news that Jawed will be returned to his family in the near future!
*name changed to protect identity
What Comes Next
As this project progresses we are hoping to see our successes so far continue, and are looking forward to seeing how the children you are supporting are able to thrive!