Bridging the Gaps in Africa. The Americas. Asia. Europe.
Afghanistan has experienced the largest forced migration flow in 30 years, with currently almost 3 million Afghans escaping the violence by fleeing to nearby host countries. However, over 5 million refugees have returned to Afghanistan since 2002, which means that ensuring their sustainable reintegration can be difficult and challenging. The RET has been working with Afghan refugees in Pakistan between 2001 and 2007, thereafter focusing on the return of refugees to Afghanistan, assisting them with their repatriation and reintegration. Unfortunately, the resources of receiving communities are already extremely depleted, and therefore their capacity to integrate the returnees is limited at best. According to UNHCR, in the areas of highest return, as many as one in three people are returnee refugees.
Security is inadequate and restricted, and social services are severely lacking. Despite the fact that the issue of gender equality has received a lot of media attention, it has not been addressed sufficiently on the ground, and there remains a huge divide between women and men and girls and boys in all aspects of life in Afghanistan. The gender imbalance in education desperately needs to be addressed, as young women and girls are often required to look after and provide for their families if their husbands or fathers have been lost due to the conflict, and without a decent level of education or vocational training, this is an exceptionally difficult task considering the limitations put on their rights.
The RET’s projects in Afghanistan and Pakistan have focused particularly upon underprivileged young women, many of them war widows, providing them with a sense of empowerment, independence, confidence and self-reliance, through training in life skills, income generation, literacy and numeracy, peace education, sciences, mathematics and Information Technology. Educating them in the above subjects and fields gives them countless more opportunities than they would otherwise have had, enabling them to assist in the reconstruction of their society and country. The RET provides holistic projects that encompass teacher training, construction and renovation of schools and learning facilities, the provision of materials and equipment, the provision and training of teachers and principals, and the provision of nationally-recognised qualifications for both teachers and students.