What is the social/environmental problem/issue that this project will address?
Afghanistan. A byword for corruption, poverty, drugs, war... The average lifespan is 43. One in four die before they’re 5. With 60% of the population under 25, the real priorities are good jobs, honest businesses, and fair markets. Afghan Action believes that effective local economic development is the best way to overcome poverty and conflict and create a just and peaceful future.
Can you give us some statistics on this problem?
• Population 30 million – 60% under 25
• Most families have 6 or 7 children or more
• Religion: almost entirely Muslim
• Sunni 80%, Shia 19%, other 1%
• Average lifespan 43 years
• Up to 75% of the population live in poverty on less than $1/day
• Chronic malnutrition affects 54% of children under 5
• Nearly 80% work in agriculture
• Unemployment – 35%
• On a UN scale of human development indicators, Afghanistan has slipped from 117th in the world, to 181st - second from the bottom - since the Taliban were ousted 9 years ago
What is your solution?
At Afghan Action's factory/training school, trainees need support and investment in forming businesses after their initial training. They can make:
• Carpets - where possible made to orders, with 50% deposit up front (to enable cash flow).
• Clothes and uniforms for markets in Afghanistan.
• Kite kits for UK schools and others.
We aim to create a network of Training & Business Incubation Centres around the country, helping young people acquire skills and develop their own enterprises.
How will you deliver this?
All trainees will undertake a 12 month programme in our Training & Business Incubation centre in Kabul – or elsewhere as we open new sites - to acquire and develop vocational skills (weaving, sewing etc) and, if needed, learn to read and write in Dari. When they are ready, they will also learn English and ICT. All will take part in business skills training and will be introduced to appropriate support (including micro-finance) during their 12 months’ training. We work with them to open up markets for their products in Afghanistan and the West.