Improve the Lives of Children in Afghanistan

by Save the Children Federation
Improve the Lives of Children in Afghanistan

Project Report | Oct 1, 2009
Afghanistan Update

By Rebecca Bryant | Manager, Workplace Giving

Save the Children in Afghanistan Since 1985 Save the Children has been responding to the needs of Afghan children and families, whether in Afghanistan or refugee sites in Pakistan, by working to help them improve their lives through programs in health, education and child protection. We have done this throughout years of war, sociopolitical turmoil, drought and oppression. The challenges are daunting, especially for children and women. Even though political and economic uncertainty and personal and community insecurity still prevail in much of Afghanistan, Save the Children is committed to helping Afghan families and communities.

Our Responses Health: The health care system in Afghanistan was largely destroyed by decades of conflict – particularly services for women and children. In partnership with the Ministry of Public Health, Save the Children works with families, communities and health care workers in homes, health posts, clinics and hospitals to promote basic health, well being and survival, particularly for children younger than five and for women of childbearing age. In all health initiatives we encourage people – from school children to health officials – to take part in improving the health of Afghan children, mothers and families. In addition to government healthcare leaders and administrators, Save the Children supports doctors, nurses, community midwives and other clinicians. As importantly, we support community health workers, who staff home-based health posts in some of the poorest and most rural areas of northern Afghanistan.

Education: In partnership with the Ministry of Education, Save the Children is increasing access to education through school support, teacher training and community mobilization in poor, remote districts. Support for parents – to promote education for girls as well as boys and to encourage them to take part in decision-making about their children’s education – is also key to our education initiatives. Teacher training is helping communities improve the quality of education children receive by helping teachers improve knowledge of child development – physical, nutritional and emotional development as well as intellectual. By leading community-based early childhood development programs that increase community and parental awareness of the importance of child development – including play – in children’s lives, we are strengthening communities’ ability to prepare their children for success once they reach school. Since 2006, we have been part of a consortium to design an approach to school administrator training that improves teaching and learning, and is now part of Ministry of Education-approved national training.

In addition, Save the Children constructs schools in areas where large numbers of children – especially girls – are out of school. Similarly, we construct latrines and wells, and provide much-needed health, nutrition and hygiene education through community-based, child-led health classes. These classes held are in homes outside of school hours, with volunteer child/adolescent facilitators.

Child Protection: Afghanistan is an unsafe place for children – and there are many girls and boys who are subjected to corporal and psychological punishment in schools and homes. Building on past successes, Save the Children now leads child protection initiatives to mobilize communities to complex issues such as the fear of kidnapping. We also facilitate the Child Protection Action Network, which aims to address child protection issues with action and follow-up. We are especially active in helping children’s voices to be heard and helping raise awareness of government responsibility to child rights and well-being.

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Organization Information

Save the Children Federation

Location: Fairfield, CT - USA
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @savethechildren
Project Leader:
Lisa Smith
Westport , CT United States

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