08 July 2024

Hugs, happiness and healing

3-year-old Kubra pedals around happily on a bicycle, circling the child-friendly space she attends each day. Kubra and her father just crossed the border, returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan. Kubra’s father, Gulbuddin, was worried about Kubra’s mental health after the difficult journey. “It was a long and tiring trip,” he recounts. “My children…, Mental health challenges among Afghan children, Children in Afghanistan face severe mental health concerns. More than 24 per cent of children between ages 5 and 17 experience anxiety – a rate 10 times higher than the global average. Nearly 15 per cent experience depression. The legacy of conflict, family migration and displacement, recurrent natural disasters, high levels of poverty, and risks…, How UNICEF provides mental health support, 8-year-old Kawsar smiles and raises her hand, eager to participate in the group learning activity. She attends a child-friendly space with 25 other children. Established by UNICEF, the space is now run by the community, supporting children from impoverished families in her village. “I want to be an artist when I’m older,” she says. “There are so…, Training counsellors and mental health providers, Seven-year-old Naghma lost her father in Afghanistan’s major earthquake in 2022. Since then, she has found comfort in her village’s new child-friendly space, speaking every day with her social worker who facilitates the child-friendly space. "I have learned so many things here. I come every day with my brother, and we are happy." Unfortunately,…, Emotional resilience and psychosocial well-being, By establishing more child-friendly spaces, training more mental healthcare providers, and expanding discussions on mental health into schools and healthcare facilities, UNICEF aims to reach 3.6 million more children and caregivers with mental health and psychosocial support in 2024. Rubaba, facilitator of a child-friendly space in central…