CCF Ensuring A Future For Afghani Children
4 JANUARY 2001
In response to the continuing needs of children, CCF has now successfully established two ‘Child-Centred Spaces’ to assist orphans and displaced children affected by the war in Afghanistan.
As part of CCF’s award-winning Trauma Programme developed to address children’s needs in the acute phase of emergency, war and violence, CCF has established these child-focused centres to help emotionally scared Afghani children come to terms with the devastation of the war.
Over four hundred children attended the opening day of the first centre in Feyzabad, Afghanistan, CCF expected only fifty children to attend. The harsh winter and decreasing food distribution has put many children in this area at risk.
Local Afghani leaders in Feyzabad say that while other groups are building roads, CCF is building the most important thing, human capitol - the children and the leaders acknowledge that this may be the only way to change the culture of violence.
“Experience has shown us that these types of interventions are critical to the success of the long-term social reconstruction and rehabilitation of children,” says Mr Adam Laidlaw, Chief Executive of CCF NZ.
Local teens from the displaced person’s camp where the first CCF ‘Child- Centred Space’ is located have volunteered to help organise the recreational and education activities for the children and to distribute milk and biscuits.
A local women’s voluntary association is assisting with the operation of the second Centre and several volunteers and teachers are being trained to assist with the education of the child attendees.
“All areas are considered when assisting children in these situations, physical, social, emotional and educational. The team also focuses on the wider community to help them re-establish their lives,” says Mr Laidlaw.
Cultural and recreational activities provided for the children include structured play interventions designed to help them heal from the emotional upheaval they have experienced.
The Centres also address the educational needs of children, many of whom have never been to school. This is especially the case for young Afghani girls who were forbidden to attend school.
Many of the Trauma Team members have now relocated to Taloqan where they are working to establish networks with other Non-Governmental Organisations, and government bodies aiming to establish further ‘Child-Centred Spaces’ in this region.
Other areas in need are Konduz and Khvajeh-Ghar, located around one hundred miles north of Taloqan.
CCF has implemented similar programmes in areas of emergency such as East Timor, Honduras, Angola, Kosovo, Colombia, Sierra Leone, India and Ethiopia. The organisation also extended its service to New York to work with youths in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks, and now to the children Afghanistan.
The Trauma Team will be funded through donations made to the Child Alert Emergency Fund. Please call CCF toll-free on 0800 223 100 or visit www.ccf.org.nz to make your donation today.