Promoting Youth Empowerment for Afghan Refugees and Host Communities
in Pakistan through Continued Involvement of Children to Education
and Provision of Skills Training for Livelihoods
The project aimed to provide opportunities to Afghan refugee children and youth to attain quality education as well as the competencies and skills that will empower them to avail opportunities for durable solutions and achieve self-reliance.
The 2030 ASD Sub-Fund of UNPDF contributed to a multi-donor programme.The project successfully delivered the expected outputs and reported the following impacts:
- Improving access of children to quality primary school education: UNHCR targeted 53,449 refugee children for enrollment to primary education but managed to enroll 53,983 with 66 per cent boys and 34 per cent girls. All children were provided with textbooks and stationery items to ensure equitable learning. In addition, as planned, a total of 1,163 primary level teachers were provided a stipend during the project period to ensure continuity in the faculty of 170 refugee village schools.
- Advocacy to promote school enrolment: a total of 35 sensitization and community campaigns were delivered. In addition, by attending meetings of the National Education Development Partners Group (NEDPG) on non-formal education, technical education and vocational training, UNHCR supported this national education development partners forum in following up with the government on the progress on the SDG 4 and in including refugees in the national and provincial policy debates. This led to the inclusion of refugees in the Balochistan Education Sector Plan as well as the draft education policy being developed by the Department of Education in Balochistan. In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, various assurances were made by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education for inclusion of refugees in the sector plans and budget. At the provincial level, UNHCR worked closely with provinces, particularly Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and Punjab, to include the education of refugee children in their education sector plans (ESPs), SDG 4 implementation plans, and with provincial directorates of literacy and with provincial directorates of literacy and non-formal basic education to include the same target population in their policies and action plans.
- Provision of skills training courses to youth: The Skills Development Programme (SDP) of the Secretariat of the Refugees Affected and hosting Areas (RAHA) programme has helped 511 Afghan refugees (337 males and 174 females) and 224 host community youth (158 males and 86 females) in acquiring market-led vocational skills training, obtaining a start-up vocational training tool kit, and a certificate from a recognized vocational training institution in 9 relevant trades to help them to set up a quick source of income.
UNHCR pointed out that the integration of cultural norms into the operational approach and engagement of local authorities as stakeholders of the process were key factors for successful and sustainable delivery of the project.
Afghan refugee girls studying at the primary school, Khazana village, Pakistan. © UNHCR/Asif Shahzad
Afghan refugee boys studying at the primary school, Khazana village, Pakistan. © UNHCR/Asif Shahzad