Foto: Redd Barna/Tomoya Sonoda
Nedgangen i vestlig støtte kan bli på flere titalls milliarder dollar når de allierte styrkene trekker seg ut i løpet av de neste to årene. Det kan lede til at en positiv trend snur, for Afghanistan har opplevd noen lyspunkter de siste årene.

Nedgangen i vestlig støtte kan bli på flere titalls milliarder dollar når de allierte styrkene trekker seg ut i løpet av de neste to årene. Det kan lede til at en positiv trend snur, for Afghanistan har opplevd noen lyspunkter de siste årene. Grunnleggende helsetjenester er sterkt forbedret og dekker nå det meste av landet. Over 8,2 millioner studenter er i dag innskrevet på skolen i Afghanistan, opp fra et par hundre tusen i Talibans dager. Tilgangen til utdanning og helsetjenester er betydelig forbedret de siste årene.

– Kvaliteten på disse tjenestene er lav, men dette er et land med en gjennomgripende fattigdom og underutvikling, som blant annet slår ut i ekstrem barnedødelighet og underernæring. Til tross for disse store vanskeligheter, er barna i Afghanistan også forbløffende robuste, kreative og seige, sier Redd Barnas landdirektør, Paul Barker.

Barn og unge flest har det svært vanskelig i Afghanistan. Det er barna som er de største taperne etter 10 år med krig. Afghanistan er fortsatt et av de verste stedene i verden å være barn. I følge FN ble 1700 barn ble drept eller såret i krigen i Afghanistan i 2011, stadig flere barn blir ofre for krigen.

Hundretusener av afghanske barn arbeider i gatene. 57 prosent av alle jenter gifter seg før de fyller 16 år. 500 00 afghanere – hvorav 200 000 barn – er på flukt i sitt eget land, fordi de har flyktet fra naturkatastrofer og på grunn av sikkerheten.

Mye frykt for fremtiden

Barker forteller at akkurat nå er det mye frykt i Afghanistan for hva som vil skje etter 2014.

– Landet står foran en overgangsfase, og vet ikke hva som vil skje med sikkerheten i landet. Dette er helt avgjørende for hvordan organisasjoner som Redd Barna, som driver med utvikling og humanitær bistand, kan fortsette sitt arbeid i Afghanistan. I enkelte områder av Afghanistan er det allerede i dag sett på som en sikkerhetsrisiko å arbeide for en frivillig organisasjon, sier Barker.

Foto: Redd Barna/Mats Lignell
Nå ønsker Redd Barna at Norge og det internasjonale samfunn sikrer at det som er oppnådd på vegne av barn i Afghanistan ikke går tapt når de internasjonale troppene drar hjem. When using this case study DO NOT change any of the details. If you’re unsure about anything to do with its use, please contact …………………………………………………….. Child Safa Gul, female 6 years old, District 04, Kabul Province, Afghanistan. Issues Child Protection (Safe place for children working in the streets) Photo references: Safa Gul: ML33684; Saba Gul: ML33797; Sabra Gul: ML33623; Haroon: ML33817 Approved by: David Skinner, Country Director, Save the Children Afghanistan, 31 October 2010. Interviews by: Homayun Siddiqi, Kabul 27 October 2010. Summary Kabul is the capital city of Afghanistan. It is a multi-cultural and multi-ethnic city. Kabul is the biggest city in Afghanistan and according official statistics there are over 3 million people living in Kabul, but no one really knows. The majority of Kabul residents are either internally displaced people or returnees from different countries, especially from neighbouring Iran and Pakistan. The migration to this city is increasing the population day by day. A huge number of the inhabitants of Kabul are considered to be of low class and are uneducated and living under poverty line, earning less than $50 per month. They receive most of their income from begging, collecting scrap metal, firewood, serving as housemaid and welfare. Kabul is a city where the cost of living is high and it is a very hard life that awaits the many returnees and refugees coming to the city. Most people, especially returnees, are living either in rental mud houses or in tents set up around wholesale markets, at the outskirt of the city and at foot of mountains, where they are not only insecure but also hardly get access to basic social services including hospitals, schools, transport, electricity, clean drinking water. Safa Gul, daughter of Mohammad Haroon, is living in district 4 in Kabul city. She comes from a very poor family. She has two younger brothers and two older sisters who are seven and ten years old. None of them go to school. Safa Gul along with her two sisters are begging, collecting firewood, scrap metal and food from houses and junk fruits and food items from the wholesale market. Every day, she leaves home at 7:30 in the morning and returns back at 7:00 or 7:30 at night. She goes to the safe meeting place set up by Save the Children. Safa Gul has learned the Dari language alphabet, one rhyme, counting up to 20, and the importance of taking care of self-hygiene. She is happy for the safe place because she has made a lot of new friends. Safa Gul’s Story by her own words (with some help from her older sister Saba Gul): “I have been coming here for a long time (30 days). I am very happy for coming to the class (Safe Meeting Place), because I made a lot of new friend and learned many new things such as Alphabet of Dari language, counting up to 20 and a rhyme too. I learned I have to wash my hands every time after toilet, cut my nails, brush my teeth, take a shower and keeping my clothes clean otherwise I will get sick.” “My first week here was very boring, and I was afraid of the teacher that he might beat me. After a week when I got used to be with the teacher and my classmates, then it became interesting for me. My teacher is a good man, he is very kind to me and teaches with a smile and never beats me. He always encourages me to study and sometimes asks me to come in front of the class and present or talk to others about my daily work.” “I have 30 classmates both girls and boys. All of them are my good friends. Sometimes in the class we play with each other or sing a song, sing rhyme, draw pictures, tell a story or a joke. It is nice.” “There are a lot of toys like dolls and games and many other playthings here. I never had such toys before and I am very happy for them. When I come to the class at six in the evening and meet my two sisters and friends it makes me very happy and I wish the time of our class was longer – maybe two or three hours,” she says with smile “A year ago when I was 4 years old I was coming with my older sister to learn and see the places where my sister works streets. I usually beg, collect food that people have thrown away, scrap metal, junk fruits from the fruit wholesale market, and sometimes I go to houses for begging food, clothes and money. I don’t like working on the street – it is difficult and dangerous. Now it is winter, the weather is cold and it makes it more difficult to work on the streets. Unless I beg or collect junk fruits or scrap food, my father will get angry with me; because we are poor and don’t have money to buy food, clothes and other necessary things. That is why I have to work on streets whether I like it or not.” “I wish to go to school, but my father doesn’t allow me to go, he says that I along with my other two sisters have to work and support the family. When I see other children going to school I get very sad and hope one day I go to school too.” Additional Interview: Safa Gul’s Father Haroon 26 “When I see my 3 daughters (Safa Gul, Saba Gul and Sabra Gul) working on street, it hurts me a lot, because, they want to go to school like other girls. But with regret I can’t fulfil their wishes and I have to send them to work on the streets. I am porter at the fruit wholesale market and my maximum earning per day is 300 Afghanis ($6) and it is not always possible to earn even that.” “I returned to Kabul from Pakistan eight years ago. I am not from Kabul, but I preferred to live here because it is the capital of Afghanistan where there is a possibility for work at least. Also here my children can work on the street and we can provide the family with three meals per day. We are living in a very bad place, in tents where we have no electricity and no safe drinking water.” “Since my daughters started attending this Safe Meeting Place, I am very happy for them because they have learned a lot of good things. They learned to take care of their self-hygiene. In the past they never paid attention to keep their clothes clean, cut their nails, brush their teeth, brush their hair, but now I see these changes in their lives. This is really the good side of this class and I hope this class (Safe Meeting Place) can be continued for these children. This is the only opportunity for my children to study at least a bit and lean and it gives them hope to the future.” “Sometimes I really feel ashamed for sending them to work on street, but I have to.” Location and Background information This Safe Meeting Place is located in District Four in Kabul, behind Police station #4, close to the fruit wholesale market. This area is famous for the fruit wholesale market, in fact this is the market which supplies fruit not only to Kabul city, but also to other provinces and to neighbouring countries. There are thousands of people working in this market. The safe meeting place is being run by a male teacher in a tent. There are 30 girls and boys between ages 4-15, sitting close to each other and under the light of torches (electric battery lights) listening and repeating after their teacher. The energetic sound of children fills the space as they shout out the letters their teacher pronounces. In this nondescript tent beside the fruit wholesale market, an ordinary event is taking place in extraordinary circumstances. It is 6 pm and outside is quite dark. There are many stray dogs outside the tent and they are barking very loudly. While Safa Gul is shouting out the letters, she has a white doll in her hands and playing with her hair. She seems very happy studying with her other classmates. After few minutes, students start playing with their toys, and they have different toys such as dolls, jungle games, puzzles and many other games. Project information The Save the Children child protection programme launched their ‘Street Patrols’ in 2008 in two districts of Kabul City. The aim of this project is to improve the protection and social status of street working children, particularly the poorest and most marginalized ones, through providing quality services and a strong referral system. In 2008 and 2009, the Street Patrol project supported 133 children’s families, who were identified the poorest families in the target area. The Street Patrol Project provided children’s parents/caregivers with a small shop/stall with an inventory of 300 USD. Children’s parents/caregivers will earn extra by selling the products and that can prevent them from having to send their children to work on the streets. This has been regularly followed by Street Patrol social workers and it worked very successful so far. The Street Patrol Project is currently implemented in two districts and with four Safe Meeting Places (Outreach Classes) in Kabul City. In 2010, 200 working and street children (boys and girls) have been registered in the Safe Meeting Places (Outreach Classes) where they receive education and have the opportunity to play and just be children for a while. In addition, 25 street working children were referred to hospital for treatment and social welfare support. Through the project stationeries, health kits, playing materials and games are provided to 200 street working children within the outreach classes. /ends/

Halvparten av befolkningen er barn

Nå ønsker Redd Barna at Norge og det internasjonale samfunn sikrer at det som er oppnådd på vegne av barn i Afghanistan ikke går tapt når de internasjonale troppene drar hjem. Organisasjonen har tre hovedanbefalinger til Norge og det internasjonale samfunnet.

  • Fokuset på barn må øke. Barn utgjør mer enn halvparten av den afghanske befolkningen, og deres behov må dekkes. Det viktigste av alt er at de får utdanning og beskyttelse. I en Redd Barna-studie så vi for eksempel at samtlige gutter fortalte at de hadde blitt fysisk eller psykisk straffet på skolene i noen av provinsene. 21 prosent av gutter og 73 prosent av jenter i skolealder står utenfor skolen. De fattigste og mest sårbare barna blir dessuten fortsatt utelatt fra skolen.
  • Penger må bevilges penger basert på behov. Redd Barna mener at midler burde fordeles til de mest sårbare afghanerne, og ikke bli tildelt basert på militære, politiske eller strategiske interesser.
  • Bistand må fokusere på grunnleggende tjenester: Det trengs opplæring av kvinnelige lærere, samt lærere og helsearbeidere som jobber i lokalsamfunnene. Ved å overføre ansvaret for dette til afghanske myndigheter, samt sikre at de har alt de trenger, oppnår man langsiktig og varig utvikling.

Redd Barna har arbeidet i Afghanistan siden 1976 og har over 700 ansatte i 9 provinser. I 2011 nådde vi 700 000 barn direkte, i tillegg til 6 millioner av befolkningen indirekte. Vi samarbeider blant annet med myndigheter og religiøse grupper for å fremme barns rettigheter.

Hør Redd Barnas utlandssjef, Gunnar Anderesen, snakke om barns fremtid i Afghanistan på Radioselskapet på P2 i dag kl 11.