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Take it step by step getting started again back home

"Don't doubt yourself!" This is the advice that Navid* often gives when he is on the phone to people who have returned to Afghanistan from Germany or other European countries. "Many of them feel they've failed", he says. "They're ashamed to go back to their families in the countryside and often stay in the major cities like Kabul, Herat or Mazar-e Sharif."

Navid and his team provide advice by phone and online to help people establish new livelihoods for themselves. Among other things, they refer returnees to partner organisations who are active in the relevant towns, cities and provinces. The advice is provided as part of the "Returning to New Opportunities" programme that GIZ implements on behalf of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

"Getting settled takes about a year"

"It takes about a year for people to settle back in", is Navid's view. Not only do they have to find a new job, they also have to reintegrate into society – a major challenge for the returnees, who are mostly young men.

Navid and his team want to show people the prospects available to them in Afghanistan. How do they go about it? "We describe our services step by step when someone calls for the first time." The advisors also provide information about possible financial contributions towards accommodation costs, the purchase of household appliances and potential assistance in kind. They research other suitable contact points after the first conversation, namely GIZ partner organisations that specialise in career, social, health or educational aspects.

The team points out various programmes and training courses on offer. One of these helps people to gain more independence: they receive cash for temporary work assignments and establish social contacts through these jobs.

Other programmes assist returnees to establish their own small business, for example. The continuing development service includes training courses for technical trades like plumbing or tailoring. Returnees can find further information via www.startfinder.de.

High demand for psychosocial support

Many people who contact the advisory team also ask about psychosocial support services. Depression and trauma frequently complicate their private and professional lives. In these cases, the advisors can for instance refer them to the "Kulba-ya man" (roughly translated as "Our hut") programme. This is run by GIZ together with the "International Psychosocial Organization" (Ipso). The partners create social meeting places where returnees can meet people with similar experiences.

* Pseudonym

As of: 08/2020

We describe our services step by step when someone calls for the first time.
Navid