Rehabilitation for Incarcerated Afghan Youth
Youth incarcerated in juvenile detention facilities are highly vulnerable to Taliban recruitment upon their release. As part of its stabilization mission, the Stabilization for Regional Agricultural Development (S-RAD) program has begun tailoring skills training for 40 at-risk youth ages 15–18 at the Children’s Rehabilitation Center in Kandahar City. A total of 20 youth are participating in the two-month course.
S-RAD's youth tailoring skills training not only gives incarcerated youth something fun to do, it also gives them a chance to do something productive upon their release.
Afghan youth are imprisoned on a variety of offenses ranging from simple theft to insurgency violence. Most are illiterate and have extremely limited employment opportunities. Tailoring is a male-dominated profession in Afghanistan, and by providing this training, IRD is helping provide these kids with basic skills that will give them livelihood options upon release, including apprenticeships in tailoring shops in Kandahar City.
According to the prison director, S-RAD is providing a critical service to incarcerated youth in Afghanistan. “The government has no resources for these kids. We lock them up but we don’t rehabilitate. Many of them flock to the Taliban because it’s the easiest way to make quick money in Kandahar. With a skill like this, maybe they’ll think twice about that.”