Program Background

Armed fights among the alliance of the Afghan government and foreign militarymainly the United States, the Taliban, and the self-claimed “Islamic State” (IS) are spreading over the country. While the Taliban expands its occupation area, the IS is also making its presence especially felt in the eastern part of the country such as Nangarhar Province, where JVC implements its projects. Even though the number of civilian casualties exceeded 10,000 in 2017, the international aid and interests of world is diminishing. Corruption is at the worst level in the world and the country is ranked 169th in the Human Development Index.

Community Health Activities and Educational Support (Kuz Kunar District, Nangarhar Province)

By putting on masks, children learn about the prevention of cold in school health activities.

JVC aimed to decrease its direct involvement in health and educational support in the project area, rural villages with a population of 27,000, so that the activities would continue without its presence. After 13 years of direct implementation, JVC handed over the mentioned activities to the community by establishing three self-help groups: health committees composed of village leaders, women’s groups, and school health councils composed of teachers and students.

[Outcome]

Health Committees

Village leaders are discussing future plans to continue the activities of the health committee.

Health committees managed the hygiene wells and implemented malaria prevention campaigns. They discussed the future plans to continue health activities and made up a system of maintenance of the hygiene wells, which are the key to community health.

Women’s Groups

More than 250 women learned about the prevention of diseases and shared this knowledge with their neighbors. They also participated in the malaria prevention campaign that the health committees organized. Through such actions they also succeeded in getting an understanding from men about the social activities of women. Literate young women were so active that they voluntarily implemented health education at the female schools.

School Health Councils

Members of a youth group learn together in the peace workshop.

Voluntary teachers made an annual plan for health education that was not included in the curriculum, and implemented a teeth-brushing campaign and first-aid trainings for the students. Two schools jointly held a “lesson study” workshop, which is a mutual-learning program for teachers to acquire better teaching skills. The teachers taught each other how to improve their daily lessons, and make the class active and interactive.

“Peace Action”, Mutual- Learning of Peace and Nonviolence (Kuz Kunar District, Nangarhar Province)

A villager from a conflict area talks about his experience to the villagers of the project area of JVC.

In 2017, JVC started a new mutuallearning program, in which villagers learn through their respective experiences about methods to solve issues in families and communities without resorting to violence. The program is important for resisting fights, violence and propaganda, which invade their daily lives. It is based on the personal experience of a staff member of JVC, who was, just like many others, born in a generation in which force dominates everything. He used to carry a gun and once supported armed groups. However, after starting work at JVC and experiencing problem solving through dialogue, his belief in force gradually changed.

[Outcome]

Mutual Learning in Villages

In order to learn from each other’s real stories, participants talked about their own experiences: for instance, village leaders stopped villagers from inviting armed groups that would intensify the fights inside the community. Also, a campaign was launched to impose penalties on shops selling harmful toy guns and drags. Such mutual learning resulted in a lot of achievements to keep violence away from children and the community..

Interacting with the Villagers from Conflict Areas

JVC organized an exchange program by gathering villagers both from JVC’s project area and insecure areas where heavy armed conflicts were continuing. The participants exchanged their experiences about how they solved fights by themselves and kept their community safe. This kind of meeting with villagers from insecure areas is remarkable since people’s transportation is complicated due to insecurity, and the topics like “peace” could be taken as politically so sensitive and difficult to debate publicly.

Production of Teaching Materials

JVC made teaching materials and videos, which provide villagers with hints for solving fights and stabilizing the community by showing many real-world examples.

[Source: JVC Annual Report 2017]

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