During the 1980s Soviet war in Afghanistan the refugee population in Pakistan started soaring at a very high speed. Pakistan maintained a policy of temporary protection with voluntary return as the preferred option. Although the process of repatriation began a long time ago and a large number of Afghan refugees have returned to their homeland. The increasing concern for Pakistan’s elusive peace situation has forced many to think about the speedy repatriation of Afghan refugees, as they pose an enormous economic burden.
Considering the current scenario, FACES Pakistan took the lead in creating livelihood opportunities for the Afghan refugees and host communities through its Vocational Training Program (VTP) in Lahore where the organization already had extensive knowledge and information regarding the needs of the said communities. With the main objective to equip Afghan refugees and host communities with marketable skills that can add value in their lives, such as driving, beautician, tailoring and plumbing, and help build self-confidence, this project especially catered to the refugee families who were involved in garbage picking or other odd jobs. Afghan refugees continue to face immense difficulties in finding a respectable job as there is a great trust deficit between the Pakistani employers and the refugees; therefore, FACES Pakistan intervened as the service provider for the vocational training and subsequent placement of jobs.
We offer courses of one month to six months to afghan refugees and host communities. FACES Pakistan has collaborated with Punjab Vocational Training Centre (PVTC) for plumbing, computers, carpet weaving, stitching and beautician courses. The most famous is the driving courses being organized in collaboration with Punjab Traffic Police. In just 2015, we trained 193 members of afghan refugees and host communities.