Prevention of Violence against Children in Afghanistan project

 Child Protection Centre (CPC)

My name is Imran. I am 16 years old from Kot District of Nangarhar Province. My family currently lives in a tent in the Angoorbagh area of Jalalabad City.

“My father does not let me go to school; he says he cannot meet our financial needs. I cannot come home if I do not work. I am forced, threatened and hit by my father if I do not work.”

“My life has only garbage and used items; I wish I could live clean, wear clean clothes. I wish I could go to school like other children. Life is full of problems. Other children begin their days happily and leave home with a schoolbag. I begin my day with bad language from my parents and leave home with a sack of garbage. Childhood is not a time to work, it is our time to play, have fun, and change our conditions,” he said.

“Luckily I was identified by WADAN’s social workers while collecting garbage and rubbish from stores. I had dirty clothes, was unhygienic, physically weak and mentally stressed.”

After identification, WADAN’s CPC social worker Mr. Ameer Gul visited my home and talked to my parents about Child Rights in Islam and international laws. The social worker convinced them to send me to the CPC, where I would learn motorbike repair skills and how to read and write.

Now I am in motorbike vocational training, have learned how to open and fix motorbikes, and know the names of most motorbike parts and tools. I am actively participating in a literacy class as well.

“I had a dream of a day when I would no longer collect garbage and rubbish. I am happy to learn to read and write. After completing the vocational training course I plan to open a motorbike repair shop. I want to live a life of glory.”

“Thanks to WADAN’s CPC; they support me and others helping us create a life of honor dignity and self-respect. This initiative and support have really changed our personal lives. I was illiterate now I am becoming literate; I was a garbage collector now I am a person with technical skills.”

Child Protection Centre (CPC)

Noria is 14 years old. Her father is disabled, a drug addict, and ruthless towards to his children. He forces them to earn money to pay for his heroin. Recently Noria got help from WADAN’s Jalalabad CPC and told her story.

She began, “We rent a house in the Angoorbagh area of Jalalabad City. I live with my parents and two brothers, who collect garbage from shops and streets. My life was very tough. I had many dreams, those of getting an education, and having a happy life.”

“My disabled and drug addicted father was always shouting at me, using bad language and forcing me to earn money to pay for his heroin. If I did not work I was taken out of the house and he hit me. My days began hauling water to my neighbors for meager pay. The money went to my father to buy heroin.”

“I was also harshly treated by community members. They did not respect me and used bad language. I just wanted a life with dignity and respect like other children have. I felt lonely and thought no one would help. Thank God one day I met the WADAN CPC Social Worker, my hopes are back,” she said.

“I am the one of those millions of Afghan children still deprived of basic childhood rights. I am one of the children who work in order to survive. I have the right to live with respect and am not obliged to work for his survival.”

“The first time the CPC social workers saw me I was collecting garbage in the bazar. At this meeting, I hid the reality of my life. When they met me the next day I told my story. The social workers visited my parents. They convinced them to send me to the Child Protection Center. My parents also were made aware of child rights in the light of Quran and Hadiths. And government laws regarding child rights were explained.”

“Now I love to come to the center every day; I learn plenty of things here. I am learning to read and write—a life-long dream. In addition my family and father now treat me better and with respect. My father no longer forces me to work. I love to study till late at night and do my homework,” she said with a soft smile on her lips.