DACAAR activities turns into new NGO in Afghanistan

Report
from Danish Committee for Aid to Afghan Refugees
Published on 19 Apr 2004
Kabul, April 2004 - Demand for reconstruction in Afghanistan grows rapidly. The influx of Afghan refugees returning to their homeland now makes rehabilitation and reconstruction an even higher priority for organisations working in Afghanistan as more and more Afghans decide to go back to their homeland. This is not only a consequence of the demise of Taliban regime but also due to the fact that forced return of Afghan refugees from host countries is increasing. The need for rebuilding schools is particularly important. One of the major concerns of DRC (Danish Refugee Council) and DPA (Danish People's Aid), two of the member organisations of DACAAR, has been how to respond to these issues quickly.
The response has been creating Danish Assistance for Afghanistan Rehabilitation and Technical Training (DAARTT). DACAAR's Building Section forms the foundation of DAARTT to empower the work within this section. DAARTT is now approved and registered by Afghan authorities ready to cope with new challenges.

The idea behind founding DAARTT is concentrating on components of school construction and rehabilitation. DAARTT also plans to set up vocational training centres for local communities.

"As a vocational training centre DAARTT would support the countrywide disarmament, demobilization and reintegration campaign, by training people and creating job opportunities", says Sten Andersen, program coordinator for DAARTT and DACAAR in Denmark.

DAARTT works in collaboration with the Afghan Ministry of Education and in the long run aims at assisting the ministry. In addition to school construction and rehabilitation there is a need to focus more on improving resources such as teacher capacity building programmes and building teacher resource centres in schools.

'Creating vocational centres as well as resource centres for teachers is one of the major challenges for DAARTT. To tackle this in a practical way we plan to do capacity mapping both in DAARTT constructed schools and all other schools in the country', says Sakandar Ali programme manager in DAARTT.

DAARTT was officially established in December 2003. It has one expatriate programme manager and 78 local staff of which 14 people are working in DAARTT's Kabul main office. DAARTT already works in three provinces in eastern Afghanistan and plans to construct eight schools a year. DAARTT currently works in Logar, Nangarhar and Laghman and plans to extend activities throughout the country in near future.

DACAAR has been operational in Pakistan and Afghanistan for 20 years. As part of its assistance to Afghanistan DACAAR have had a major focus in reconstruction and its building section has been operational for 10 years, constructing 150 schools countrywide.

DAARTT contact: Sakandar Ali, Programme Manager (93) (0) 79 33 77 66

DACAAR is a consortium established in 1984. Current members are: The Danish Refugee Council, MS - Danish Association for International Cooperation and DPA - Danish People's Aid, all of which hold a seat in the Steering Committee.