13.01.2017 - News

Torkham: A humanitarian success story

In Torkham, Afghanistan, not many children had access to education. Since 2006, in collaboration with local NGOs, Terre des hommes has introduced and developed educational and recreational activities, psychological support and protection for these children. At the end of 2016, four schools were opened. It is now time for us to hand over our activities to the community.

Torkham is a town in eastern Afghanistan, located on the border with Pakistan. In this region, the lack of education is a major issue for children. Most of them have to work to contribute to the family income, and girls are not encouraged to receive education for cultural reasons. In addition, the only option to attend school is to cross the border to Pakistan or access the formal school which is 12 km from Torkham.

We started offering working children educational activities and psychological support in a child protection centre* in Torkham. Our specialists helped them reintegrate school and provided the most vulnerable ones with a grant to improve their families’ income. Due to a large number of school enrolments and great enthusiasm from the children, Tdh advocated for the opening of a school in Torkham itself. In November 2016, the provincial Directorate of Education accepted and opened four schools in the town.

Young girls attending the child protection center.

“Lots of changes have happened here” says Ahmad, a young boy attending Tdh centre. “We are going to school now. When we get sick, they take us to a doctor and give us medicine. They support us here. Children from our village, including girls, come.”

Students in Torkham.

These ten-year worth of efforts have been run with local NGOs and communities. At the end of 2016, we were able to hand over the activities from the child protection centre to local organisations. All children from the centre have been enrolled into the new schools in Torkham, ensuring the sustainability of education in this area and a brighter future for them all.

*In Torkham, we helped children and families with the financial support of the European Union.

Photo credit: © Tdh