Self-help groups (SHG) in Afghanistan are mostly focused on empowering women socially, economically, and politically. A component of the project also focuses on helping to provide safer environments for children so that they can grow up to influence society, and even influence the position and role of women in society.
Recently the Mazar SHG trainers implemented a child protection training in one of their communities for thirty men. The training focused on issues such as children’s rights, children’s protection, children’s desires, and how to treat children.
One of the men who received the training said:
“Dear teachers, the valuable things about life and children that you are sharing with us are touching our hearts. You know that we have never heard these good topics from our parents, that today we heard from you. God bless you. We wish you happiness and success in life. Within this insecure situation in Afghanistan, you come and train us in these important subjects of life. We are so proud of you!”
One of the participants who was much older, said:
“I can’t read this chapter of Child Protection very well, but I have a desire that one day I would be able to read and write. We are like blind people who have a lack of awareness of everything."
He continued: “I had beaten my children a lot and said bad words to them. Now I am beating my grandchildren too instead of giving them love, care and trying to talk to them kindly. These are all things which happen because we are illiterate people and we don’t know anything about life. For us life is just to eat and sleep, that is all.”
He said that after the training he would never beat his grandchildren again.