Street Children Back to School
Location – Kabul
Focus – Education
Nearly four decades of war in Afghanistan has led to socioeconomic strife on a nationwide scale. Extreme poverty and instability have caused an increase in child labor in the country. Many families are thus forced to employ their children to earn extra money to survive. According to UNICEF, child labor affects around 25% of afghan children from age five to fourteen. (Afghanistan Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey 2010 – 2011: Final Report). These children do not have the opportunity to attend formal schools.
In 2016, AfD introduced the “Street Children Back to School” project to give street children in Kabul the possibility to attend a semi-formal school where they can learn basic literacy and numeracy skills. Thanks to its unique structure, the school allows the children to reconcile studies with their work.
The project was launched with the support of AfD’s collaborating partners in Afghanistan and Switzerland, namely the Afghan Ministry of Education, the Gertrud Hirzel Foundation, the Commune de Plan-les-Ouates ,as well as various Afghan organizations.
There are currently 63 street children enrolled in our school, which is located in an area close to where many of the children work. Proximity is important, as it allows children to attend classes during their breaks. Moreover, AfD ensures that these children can benefit from free services at the (CHC).
Both the teacher and the project’s coordinator are Afghans with an educational background. This means that they not only have knowledge of the country’s realities but also that they are best placed to approach and understand the children.
AfD does not condone child labour. We do however believe that empowering street children and their families through access to education is a necessary step to eliminate child labour.