Child Friendly Spaces
Not only have our supporters helped provide food hampers and essential winter items, but the Hagar team in Afghanistan have also been able to create child friendly spaces inside the camps for Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) with 1860 children and family members benefitting from this initiative. These spaces have provided the children in these camps a space to be kids; a space to learn, receive some education and enjoy some rare recreation activities.
When visiting the IDP camps last year, Hagar found that the majority of the children living in these areas were not attending school. Instead, they were working to help provide for their families through activities such as polishing shoes, begging and collecting garbage from the streets.
Because of the generous financial support of our supporters around the globe, the Hagar team were able to respond to this situation and begin the process of creating spaces where children could both learn and play. Hagar staff did the following:
- Identified children in IDP camps who either had no easy access to a school, had families who were hesitant to send them to school or whose age was limiting their access to education
- Identified six safe spaces in the IDP camps where classes and activities for children could start
- Met with parents/or caretakers of the children Hagar wanted to invite along to raise awareness about the importance of their child having access to education and literacy
- Secured essential support from the Ministry of Education
- Appointed teachers for the classes, with Hagar staff then running a 2-day workshop with them to give them a better understanding of the project and Hagar’s policies
- Purchased stationary from a suitable vendor and equipped all of the classes with the right resources
On the 28th of November classes began, with 330 students participating and beginning to follow a standard primary school level curriculum. In addition to their education, staff also keep an eye on the children’s physical and mental health, with psychosocial counseling being provided, in partnership with other NGOs. Our colleagues on the ground have reported that these child-friendly spaces have been a huge success with a significant impact being noticed in both the kids AND their parents!
“I am Abdul Basit… In my father’s family, everyone was qualified and educated. Only my father remained uneducated, which had a devastating effect on our family. My father did not have a special job and always worked as a laborer. Recently he became jobless and we did not have any means of income. In that case, I would have to skip school and work to feed my family. With this, all my hopes and aspirations were shattered.
A friend told me that the Hagar organization is opening a basic education class in the Dak area botkhak for children interested in education and haven’t taught much at all. I told myself that now is the time to fulfil my dream of education. I quickly joined the class and started studying….thanks to Hagar International Foundation for making a positive difference in my life.”
Abdul Basit, Beneficiary of Child Friendly Spaces
For Abdul Basit and each of 330 students directly participating, this intervention represent an opportunity that they never would have had if it wasn’t for Hagar and our supporters.