Reaching Afghan Kids in Uncertain Times

Reaching Afghan Kids in Uncertain Times

Every child deserves a childhood. Every child needs peace and stability, care and attention that will allow them to grow, to discover, to learn and to thrive.

But children in Afghanistan have not seen peace of the past four decades. Successive generations of Afghan children have grown up against a backdrop of never-ending war and conflict and now, after the Taliban takeover, many of them face an uncertain future, with a humanitarian disaster brought about by two decades of the more recent conflicts, the recent drought, and the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic looming over the country.

Alight Pakistan is determined to help the Afghan people in their time of need. We have two decades of experience working with Afghan refugees in Pakistan and we take a holistic approach to care: not only providing emergency relief but delivering long-term support to enable every displaced and marginalized person to rebuild their life and make the most of it.

Education is the key to empowerment, and we believe that every child has the right to get educated. Children in Afghanistan are no exception – and even if their schools are not ready, we have a tried-out solution that could help them continue to learn even through the crisis.

Here, in Pakistan, Alight has come up with a unique solution to deliver education to children locked down at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Because access to the internet and IT devices is limited, especially in remote areas, we developed a radio program with educational activities and lessons, so that young students could continue learning and have something positive to focus on in challenging times. Radio Muallim, first designed for the Gilgit-Baltistan region, was soon broadcasted all over the country and reached 5 million students with numeracy and literacy lessons, stories, poems, games and physical exercise to keep them interested and engaged.

Radio Muallim is a low-tech, high-impact solution that can be quickly adapted to new contexts. Alight’s Pakistan team is working to bring Radio Muallim to Afghanistan to help children feel a sense of normalcy in this time of uncertainty and fear. We have started the process of adapting the Radio Muallim program, including translating lessons into local Afghan languages and connecting with radio channels that could reach children in Afghanistan. We are determined to stick up for the Afghan people who have suffered so much over the past few decades. We will be there for Afghan children to give them a sense of stability, and the care and attention they need. And we welcome anyone who shares our goals to join in our mission. We shall not abandon the Afghans!