Save the Children UK joins BAAG

16 November 2016

Save the Children UK has supported children and their families in Afghanistan for over  40 years.  BAAG is thrilled to welcome them, and looks forward to including their research and policy expertise and children’s voices to strengthen the network’s advocacy activities.

In Afghanistan Save the Children currently runs numerous projects.  In a country where millions of children from impoverished families are forced to work, often in hazardous conditions, child protection is vital. Save the Children is working to reduce the number of children involved in harmful child labour, support youth and families by offering vocational training programs, and working closely with the government to advocate for systematic and sustainable child protection changes.

Other projects tackle the inadequate health system in Afghanistan, which sees many people struggling to access services. The country also suffers a high new-born mortality rate, and high prevalence of chronic and acute malnutrition. Through Community Midwifery Education and Community Nursing Education programmes, mobile health teams and other activities, they are increasing access to services.  

Additionally Save the Children engages in health advocacy. At the community level they build the capacity of health shura members, empowering them to take part in the health system and enabling them to ask providers for accountability. At the national level the organisations works with the government and donors to change policies and secure funds for new health interventions.

Victoria Lyon Dean is the Senior Portfolio Officer at Save the Children UK.  Referring to the organisation’s impact on Afghan children she comments:

“We are striving to ensure that every Afghan child attains their rights to survival, protection, development and participation.  Last year, our programme reached 1,933,800 Afghans, of which 904,335 were children. There is still so much more to do to ensure that we achieve immediate and lasting change in all Afghan children’s lives.”

In addition to the above Save the Children has projects in Afghanistan focused on livelihoods, nutrition, child rights governance and education. They also respond when humanitarian crises hit. This broad thematic expertise adds to that of BAAG’s other child-focused members, namely Children in Crisis, War Child, Friends of Aschiana, Child Soldiers International and Khorasan.

‘Save the Children has been a powerful force for change for almost 100 years,’ comments BAAG’s Director, Jawed Nader. ‘Afghanistan is still an incredibly difficult place to live for children, which has been highlighted this year in the unprecedented numbers of Afghan youth fleeing the country, often unaccompanied. The brilliant and valuable work of Save the Children will be a great asset to the BAAG network. We look forward to learning more about the reality of life for Afghan children and their families, and championing their needs in the country’s development policies and programmes.’

Save the Children recently funded a project to promote the annual International Day of the Girl Child.  You can see the video of a wonderful performance of their ‘I am a girl’ song via this link