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Poverty Reduction and Community- Based Social Protection in Afghanistan Promoting social cohesion, employment and decent work- support for social inclusion.

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Presentation on theme: "Poverty Reduction and Community- Based Social Protection in Afghanistan Promoting social cohesion, employment and decent work- support for social inclusion."— Presentation transcript:

1 Poverty Reduction and Community- Based Social Protection in Afghanistan Promoting social cohesion, employment and decent work- support for social inclusion and social protection of workers in the informal economy and of vulnerable groups at community level in Herat, Afghanistan

2 Khatera: from illiteracy and pistachio shelling to wedding flower making and literacy program  25 year old widow with 5 children  Pistachio-sheller, making 20 afs(0.33 cents) per kg shelled (2-4 days)  Illiterate  Renting a small room inside a housing quarter  Married twice, 1 st time as a child of 11 yrs  Her oldest son was the main income provider, working at a restaurant for 41euro per month, until he was fired  1 st husband died of old age, had one son with him who’s 14 now  2 nd husband is 40 years older than her, recently left her when pregnant with the baby in her arms for he could not support the family  New flower making income 2.50 Euro per day versus Euro cents shelling pistachios

3 Herat, Afghanistan -2 nd largest city in Afghanistan, located in the north western part of the country, bordering Iran. -Population of 1.7 million people (2011 data) -Considered one of the safest provinces, Afghans around the country or living as refugee in other countries especially Iran, move to the city of Herat seeking safety and work opportunities

4 Constraints within the Afghan context  Instability and insecurity due to the war  The war eroded trust, people do not trust each other and development organizations, especially ones with international staff  The war has erased long-term goal planning, people seek short-term solutions  Beneficiaries interest in joining the program is cash incentives and in kind donations (food rations, equipment) and drop out when they realize there are no cash incentives  Beneficiaries depend on subsistence IGA  The private sector is just as informal as the informal sector  Genders are strongly segregated  Women have no business walking the streets, men own businesses and run errands  Women depend on a ‘maharam’ to walk the streets  Not acceptable for male trainers to teach women  Not acceptable for men to work in training centers where women are beneficiaries  The poorest are especially uninterested in having women become educated, they see no benefit in it  No ID cards, no idea what age they really are and if they do have an ID these often have wrong information esp. age

5 Empowerment methodology designed for target groups  3-yr program, 1 full program per year, 3 rounds of beneficiaries; focus to educate children, their siblings and mother throughout the 3 yr program to strengthen the family as a whole  4 resource centers: 2 for children and youth, 2 for women and ECCD classes within their districts  Literacy and numeracy program for women and youth  Educational training for female and male children in preparation to take school entrance exams  Placing of street working children into schools once they pass the school entrance exam  A program in place to ensure children remain in school  Life skills training for women, children and youth  Classes focus on decision making  ECCD program for women’s children ages 4-6 yrs old  Business training focused on entrepreneurship for women and youth  Business plan writing  Access to a livelihoods grant based on the business plan the beneficiary put together

6 Profile of the target Groups  All groups: women, children and youth:  Vulnerable groups within three of the poorest districts of Herat: district 2, 7 and 10  Vulnerable families which moved to the city seeking employment and safety  Families coming in from other provinces running away from the war (IDPs)  Families coming from remote communities within Herat province  Returned refugees from Iran  Street working children or at high risk of becoming street working children  Women, children and youth at the bottom of the value chain; earning the lowest wages within the informal economy  Women, girls and female youth who are homebound, working on income generating activities at home while taking care of children, elderly relatives and in- laws  Male children and youth forced to work selling on the streets or as apprentices, many times sole providers for the family  Female girls and youth profile:  Girls ages 7-13 years old and female youth years old who have never been allowed to attend school and are forced to share the burden of household responsibilities  Engaged to relatives or men who have paid a dowry to their parents  Responsible to take care of siblings, and doing household chores  Esp. arduous labor under harsh weather conditions: hauling water in buckets from distant places, scavenging dumps, herding sheep  Working at home with their mothers on the lowest paid income generating activities:  Shelling pistachios at Euro cents per kilo, the labor of 2- 4 days  Cleaning wool at.40 Euro cents per kilo,, the labor of 2-4 days  Washing laundry at 1.61 to 2.41 Euro per day ( laundry pick up, washing, drying, ironing, drop off, water and detergent)

7 Girls and female youth attending class at resource centre for youth

8 Boys and male youth attending youth training centers

9 Profile of the target groups: Male children and youth beneficiaries  Boys and male youth who are illiterate  Boys ages 7-13 years old and male youth years old who cannot attend school due to work responsibilities (dropouts or never attended)  Boys and male youth who work on the street selling goods, offering services (shoe shining), scavenging trash seeking recyclables ( bottles, cartons)  Boys and male youth taken on as apprentices in carpentry shops, metal-work shops, tailoring shops, etc.  Boys and male youth earning $1 or less per day working on the streets and $20-40 a month as apprentices  Boys who are main bread winners in the home, father is elderly or has passed away

10 Women beneficiaries attending women’s training centers

11 Profile of the target populations: women beneficiaries  No education, none or limited vocational skills  Husbands are usually relatives as the men cannot afford paying dowries thus marry within the family; this leads to a high incidence of physical and mental illnesses in their offspring  Forced into arranged marriages at an average age of 12-14, sometimes engaged below age 10 to men years older than them  Husbands develop age-related illnesses or become handicapped from arduous labor in their youth  Husbands are unable to provide for their wives and children due to their old age, illnesses, and handicaps  There is a high percentage of young widows left with many children to raise and support on their own  Women are expected to only work at home, taking care of children, husbands, in-laws and taking on the lowest paid income generating activities:  Shelling pistachios at Euro cents per kilo, the labor of 2-4 days  Cleaning wool at.40 Euro cents per kilo,, the labor of 2-4 days  Washing laundry at 1.61 to 2.41 Euro per day ( laundry pick up, washing, drying, ironing, drop off, water and detergent)  Other labor intensive work with low wages: hand-embroidery and carpet weaving (months to produce with no profit)

12 Key partnerships to support target groups and develop sustainability models  Government institutions:  DoLSA (The department of Labor and social affairs)  CPAN (Child Protection and Action Network)  Department of Education  Department of Literacy and Numeracy  Department of Economy  Non-state actors:  Local employers (formal and informal)  Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission  World Food Programme  DAC (Danish Afghan Committee)  World Vision  Elected community leaders  Shura leaders  Religious leaders (Mullahs)  Non-state actors which are EC funded  HELP International, vocational training  Handicap International, training on how to work with handicapped people within livelihood projects

13 Empowerment tools  Women  First time access to a classroom and teachers for most of them  Daily opportunity to meet with other women and exchange information, ideas, and have discussions  Opportunity to learn about business directly  Access to a livelihoods grant/toolkit to support an IGA within the family  Opportunity to learn about social protection and together design SPM suitable for their communities  Youth  First time access to a classroom and teacher  Opportunity to learn about business directly  Access to a livelihoods grant/toolkit to support an IGA within the family  Children  Preparation course to take school entrance exams  Opportunity to attend school once he/she takes passes the entrance exam  Strong program to ensure children remain in school (outreach work, strengthening of PTAs, SMCs)

14 Sustainability of target populations  Through direct training of vulnerable target groups: women, youth and children  Through direct empowerment of beneficiaries in the classroom (business plan writing, decision-making lessons)  Through partnerships with non-state actors and governmental entities to seek further support and service provision for target groups  Through partnerships with the private sector (e.g. Mr. Rayabee, wedding flower business owner)  Through capacity building of community and religious leaders on how to revive and develop effective social protection mechanisms (empowered to attend CPAN meetings and introduce cases within their community, seeking support)  Through round-tables with employers to synthesize about worker’s rights and the Afghan labor law


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