In Kabul, AWEC has been working since 2014 to prevent and respond to violence face by most vulnerable children. As one of our project – co-funded by the EU – is ending in December 2016, we thought it was time to sit and discuss with some community leaders of the neighborhoods to collect their feedbacks, as they were involved and fully participated in the success of the activities held at our 3 “Child Protection Centers”.
Gul jan, 45 years old, is one of the active member of women shura of the district 6 of Kabul. Early 2015, project staff met some female shura members and discuss about the intervention of AWEC – and how they could support our work: for instance, by identifying girls facing violence, as in the Afghan context most of them stay inside the houses and are not visible by the field workers.
In the past 2 years, Gul jan was able to refer no less than 43 cases of children (20 girls) to AWEC project. Of AWEC and partner she says “there are many organizations that are working in the child protection but it is very difficult to trust them”.
What was the most relevant and useful according to her? “through the activities of the center the risk of violence towards the children are decreasing (…) the awareness sessions were very useful because they make aware the parents about the rights of their children, their role and responsibility, the importance of education and especially awareness about the early/forced marriages”.
On this sensitive topic (52% of girls in Afghanistan are getting married before 15 years old as per Save the Children last survey), Guljan is saying that “we can see the positive changes in the behavior of the parents such as there are less early/ forced marriages in comparison to the other years”.
For AWEC and partners, the involvement of local communities is key to ensure a sustainable approach for our projects: it strengthens what we called “child protection community mechanisms” and allows a community based approach which we believe in the only way to pave long term achievement. To work with women in Afghanistan, even if more difficult, gave us tremendous success in the strengthening of the respect of Child Rights and children resilience. A positive impact that is shared by Gul Jan “I am very happy to work with such an organization that is focusing on the future of the children of Afghanistan”.

Interview done in Kabul AWEC Child protection center – October 2016