Throughout the decades of war, Afghan women and children have borne the brunt of violence and human rights abuse.
Even in this current time and age, Afghan women and children still face challenges ranging from access to education and healthcare, to finding work as well as participating in choices that affect their own lives. For women and children with backgrounds of domestic violence, forced marriage, trafficking, and other forms of gender-based violence, these challenges are greatly exacerbated. This rampant, unchecked violence and abuse requires preventative education and improved legal mechanisms, as well as protection measures, counselling, and psychosocial support for the survivors of violence.
Hagar Afghanistan was launched in 2008 in response to the great magnitude of violence and human rights violations against marginalised women, as well as the severe lack of services available for survivors. Through a number of integrated programmes, Hagar is dedicated to seeing those who are the most forgotten and rejected by society find healing and restoration, and be provided with economic and reintegration options.
However, it has not been an easy journey for humanitarian workers who face constant dangers in their line of work. The impacts of insecurity threatens their personal safety and the survivors under their wings of protection.
Resources for this neglected group of survivors are also limited. Unfortunately, while the needs of women and girls in general have received global attention through research and media reports, and thereby resulting in increased financial aid and service provisions, the challenges that women and girls in Afghanistan face are often sidelined due to the complicated “threat environment” reputation of the country. Regrettably, it has not been easy rallying compassion for these marginalised communities.
Hagar’s Transitional Care Centre (TCC) in Afghanistan aims to provide survivors of severe abuse and trauma with proper protection and rehabilitation, psychosocial care and ample support to walk the whole journey of recovery. Taking on a holistic approach, economic independence is achieved through accessing education, vocational training and employment services. And social integration happens as each individual starts to feel part of a community, senses safety and begins to play an active role in society.
At a tender age of 9, Sana found safety and hope at TCC after walking away from her father who had abused her sisters and mother. Sana is now attending school and receiving a proper education.
“I am so happy at the TCC. My sisters and I are now with our mother and safe. Our father is not here to bite us, spit on us or hit us. And he can no longer stop us from going to school.”
— Sana, 9 years old
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