Gender Based Violence, Child Protection, Children Associated with Armed Forces and Groups: Our ongoing work in Afghanistan 

Gender Based Violence

We Develop Trauma Informed Care. 

Gender: POMA provides anti-bias, gender sensitivity and diversity training to organisations, embassies and private enterprises and is therefore well-versed in tailoring gender-sensitive and inclusive programming for socio-economically marginalised and illiterate or semi-literate populations, semi-literate and literate employed populations including survivors of political violence and people with physical and mental special needs (disabilities) in Afghanistan.

In this particular program considerations will include dealing in a gender-, age and trauma-sensitive manner with direct and indirect target beneficiaries. Self-reflective and situational analytical approaches allow POMA to determine and deal with cases in which sexual and/or physical violence may have occurred in a manner that does neither do harm nor re-traumatize the children. These considerations will be integrated into all ToT sessions provided.

Equity: Since the proposed activities will target some of the most at-risk and needy populations of Afghan children, providing them with psychological and mental health support, there is good scope for the project to ensure that there is equity and that the most disadvantaged groups receive targeted action.

Sustainability: Given that POMA will seek to focus on training of trainers as well as developing, harnessing, strengthening and consolidating the use of national databases for tracing trafficked children separated from their families, there is good scope for sustained impacts of proposed activities within beneficiary populations and beyond.

The goal of POMA is to contribute to the improvement of the mental and physical welfare of targets and survivors of GBV in Afghanistan. Supporting women and their children subjected to GBV through focused mental health care allows to challenge the ongoing criminalisation of women for crimes that are according to EVAW Law no crimes, but foster their access to rehabilitative support, socioeconomic upward mobility and networks that empower the survivors to be self-reliant and self-caring. Increase the capacity of local professional clinical practitioners to provide effective therapy to survivors of GBV using different approaches and showing flexibility in the process of problem-solution depending on patients needs and situationality:

  • Create and increase the capacity for “survivor-led therapies”
  • Connect to and strengthen existing referral mechanism in cooperation with stakeholders
  • Empower targets and survivors by providing rehabilitation and recovery opportunities
  • Foster self-reliance, self-esteem and self-care in order to aid the rehabilitation of GBV survivors

Child Protection

Psychologically therapeutic sessions are required for children that are in need of in depth psychotherapy for their past and current psychological trauma. Interventions will be specifically devised to be trauma informed in order to improve psychological safety, transparency and trustworthiness and peer support. The design will specifically be aimed to be empowering, culturally informed and sensitive to gender specific issues. Necessary protocols are observed to ensure privacy of the participants.

Trafficked minors in Afghanistan’s borderlands are separated from their family during migration; are lost or abandoned by their impoverished family due to disabilities; are recruited upon return to Afghanistan by local police or militants as child soldiers; are kidnapped; are sold or forced into marriage or into “bacha bazi”; are forced to work in narco-agriculture and more likely to become drug-users and/or enter ‘narconomics’. Trafficked minors are subjected to regular abuse, including sexual, physical, emotional and neglect due to the absence of child support services (IOM 2008; Liberty Asia 2017; UNICEF&Innocenti Research Centre 2008; USAID 2019).

There are national and geopolitical challenges to the implementation of national policies towards combating the trafficking of minors in Afghanistan. POMA’s Child Protection Programs proposed programme seeks to:

  • Support social service workforce at provincial and district level for CP aligned with the standards.
  • Provide reunification, re-integration and psychosocial support as well as referral to specialized services for the affected and at-risk children.c. orient,
  • Sensitize and mobilise community members, religious leaders, children, community leaders/eldersand other relevant target groups, on risk associated with unsafe migration and the violation of child rights.
  • Strengthen the existing child protection mechanisms, systems and partners at provincial and district level -via the 2018 implemented national referral mechanism and online database to combat human trafficking.


  • Reintegration CAAFAG
  • Reunification of CAAFAG
  • Psychological Rehabilitation CAAFAG
  • Post Release Support, Monitoring  and Psychological Aid
  • In situations of extreme stress, individuals tend not to validate or consciously process their emotions. In other words, they wouldn’t even evaluate their emotions because it often deepens their sense of helplessness. Therefore, they avoid noticing, validating, and or speaking about their emotion. They may intellectualize their emotions and give precedence to how they should be rather how they are. Regular emotional processing will allow them to feel safe enough in a supported circle that is facilitated by professional therapist exactly to make it possible for individuals to reconnect to themselves. In group processing sessions, peers will have educational effect on each other, allowing them to adapt their defense strategies as well as improving their skills for self-soothing. The more they become available to themselves psychologically, the more congruent they will be as a result of reduced tensions and stress. This will maximize their effectiveness and quality of the life and work.
  • Major goal of this plan is to ensure psychological wellbeing of children residing inside detentions in Afghanistan. We believe psychological wellbeing will contribute to their physical safety, professional efficiency and improved personal life satisfaction. In absence of psychological wellbeing all of the above mentioned areas will gradually deteriorate. The objectives of this plan are to produce a sense of safety and point of stability, prevent and mitigate psychological trauma, design processing mediums and mechanisms for their suppressed emotions, identify and improve their individual and collective resources for wellbeing, preventing their synching into a psychological state of chaos, helplessness or victimhood. Our strategy is to provide psychosocial education, prevention trainings, therapeutic interventions, facilitating their psychological transformation by producing psychological support systems that are particularly sustainable and continues to serve their wellbeing well beyond the scope and timeline of this project.