TESTO has continuously built its capacity in project management and worked towards improving the quality of services it delivers. TESTO was able to continuously increase the size of its projects, the coverage areas, and the quality and diversity of its services. One of the important achievements of the organization is that TESTO has become a reliable partner of its donors, and of the government in the delivery area of its services. Also, TESTO has developed an effective working relationship with the line ministries (Economic, Women Affairs, Social Affairs, Education, Cultural and Information and Rural Development), and the target population because of its progressive work to improve the quality of services, and its cooperation with all stakeholders towards the common good. However, the important part of TESTO’s achievements lies in the changes it has brought to the lives of the population TESTO has worked with. TESTO has valuable achievements in the field of Agricultural, literacy training, vocational training, civic education, peacebuilding, women’s rights, and awareness, and health/ hygiene awareness. Below are the achievements of each sector in detail.
- Shelter & Emergency Aid
- Education Program
- Vocational Training Program
- Peace Building & Civic Education
- Health/ Hygiene Awareness
- Women’s Rights & Gender Balance
- Agricultural (Livestock) Program
Shelter of Emergency Eid
Over a thousand people have died, and over 3 million people have been displaced from their homes as a result of extreme flooding which has destroyed homes, crops, livelihoods, and key infrastructure in different provinces of Afghanistan. TESTO is currently providing emergency healthcare services to those in need in the country.
We are also conducting needs assessments in coordination with other humanitarian actors and the government in the region to determine other ways we can support those affected. Priority needs include food, potable water, temporary shelter, hygiene kits, medical supplies, and protection services. TESTO is committed to supporting the communities we work with through this intensely difficult period.
Education is instrumental in promoting women’s status and eliminating harmful cultural practices and illiteracy impedes women to acquire knowledge on matters related to their empowerment. Moreover, their meager knowledge makes them vulnerable and puts them at risk and problems. Experience has proved that a lower level of education amongst women is clearly correlated to a higher rate of fertility and maternal and infant mortality. To impart access to education for Afghan males and females TESTO has implemented the following.
- Literacy and Numeracy Training for 240 Males and Female prisoners at Mazar-e-Sharif prison, Bulkh Province-Afghanistan. The project is funded by UNODC
- Recently TESTO has been awarded vocational training (tinsmith) and literacy training for 40 males in Qarabagh district of Ghazin province from SIKA East.
- Recently TESTO has been awarded vocational training (Auto mechanic) and literacy training for 20 males in Andar district of Ghazin province from SIKA East.
- TESTO implemented four projects joint with vocational training in 2012-2014.
Vocational Training Program
TESTO is an expert organization in implementing different kinds of vocational training programs. TESTO believes that vocational training can be the best intervention in order to enable vulnerable groups, such as women-headed families, orphans, widows, disabled, and IDPs, for sustaining and securing their livelihood. TESTO has experience in implementing different vocational training programs including, carpet weaving, Embroidery, Food Process, Bag making, Tailoring, tinsmith, etc. in this regard, TESTO’s experience is summarized as follows.
- TESTO has implemented a vocational training (carpet weaving) program for male and female prisoners at Mazar-e-Sharif male and female prison in Balkh province person. The project is funded by UNODC during which 30 male and female prisoners have been trained on carpet weaving.
- During the year 2014 TESTO implemented Vocational Training for Youth (Auto Machine Repairing) project in Nawor District of Ghazni province, the project was funded by Polish Team (PRT-Ghazni) and during the project 20 beneficiaries were trained and received training tool kits on Auto Mechanic Repairing.
- In 2013 TESTO implemented Vocational Training for men Carpentry project for 20 youth in Nawoor District of Ghazni Province. The project was funded by PRT. During the project, 20 beneficiaries received training and tool kits on Carpentry.
- In 2013 TESTO implemented the Vocational Training for men Tinsmith project for 20 youth in Nawoor District of Ghazni Province. The project was funded by Polish Team (PRT-Ghazni). During the project, 20 beneficiaries received training and tool kits on Tinsmith.
- TESTO has implemented Candle Making Project for Ghazni Women in 2012. The project was also funded by PRT. During the project, 80 female beneficiaries were trained.
Peace Building and Civic Education:
TESTO believes that Civic education is essential in a democratic state on one hand to aware people of their rights and claims for it and on the other hand to make the related authorities to be more accountable. In addition, Afghanistan is affected by decades of war which resulted in different types of conflict at all levels of society, so there is a need for awareness raising in conflict resolution and peacebuilding. In the mentioned aspect, TESTO has done the following.
- In 2015 TESTO implemented Women Empowerment and Youth Activism program in Nengarhar province. The project was funded by Counterpart. During the project 600 female was trained in advocacy, management and leadership, gender, and M&E. Also 24 female networks were established during the project lifespan.
- In 2015 TESTO implemented financial management project, in Kabul and Nengarhar provinces, funded by Creative under the AWDP program. During the project, 280 youth (74 female and 206 male) were trained, and out of this number 64 youth were placed in proper jobs.
- Civic Education with Focus on Electoral Participation in (Ghazni, Paktika, Paktiya, and Khost Province during 2013-1014. The project was funded by AWN, during which 4000 females got election cards, 960 females trained on Civic Education, and in four Campaigns more than 600 females participated, and in the first and second rounds of observation 212 female observers and public male and female awareness raised in electoral participation.
- Support for Local Government in Uruzgan Province (SLGU) was another project implemented by TESTO in 2013. The project was funded by GIZ/Aus AID, during which 300 people from different directorates of Uruzgan Province wore trained.
- TESTO implemented Civic Education Training for Government and Civil Society Organizations in 2013. The project was implemented in Kabul plus 24 provinces. The project was funded by DACAAR, during which a total of 50 male and female DACAAR and Government officials were trained.
Health/ hygiene awareness
Under this component, TESTO has implemented programs for raising awareness of the community for good hygiene practices and thereby contributed to the reduction of diseases. In addition, TESTO has implemented projects for the reduction of addiction and narcotics in the target area as follows.
- Capacity Building of Healthcare System was implemented during 2013-1014 in Ghazni Province. The project was funded by PRT-Ghazni and during the project, 5050 people from Ghazni hospital and private doctors wore trained on Hepatitis A, B, and C.
- TESTO implemented Advocating unemployment and drug addiction control project in 2013 in Kabul province. The project was funded by ACSFO/CPI/USAID and during the project 840 male and female school students and community members were trained on Advocating unemployment and drug addiction control topics.
- Ambassador Small Grant Health Education Soft Drinking Water Project was implemented by TESTO in Ghazni province during 2011-2012. The project was funded by US Embassy. During the project, 300 poor families were trained on soft drinking water and health hygiene topics.
Women’s Rights and Gender Balance
TESTO as a women lead organization, since 2010. TESTO has implemented the One Billion Rising (Women’s Rights Issues Program on 14th February every year) and 8th March (Women’s Day) program both programs are implemented in the women’s Affairs Directorate of Ghazni, Nuristan, Kunar, Paktiya, Paktika, Khost, Uruzgan and Kabul Provinces. The aim of the program is awareness rising about women’s rights and gender. TESTO believes in gender equity in all organizations and project affairs. TESTO has female staff within the organization structure, either at the senior or medal management level. In addition, in every project gender balance is also considered. That is why women especially the vulnerable ones are the main target group of TESTO, that in each project special focus is given to this group.
Agricultural (Livestock) Program:
Our organization’s objective is to develop the agricultural, educational, and economic conditions of Afghan women, men, and youth in accordance with Afghanistan’s constitution with special consideration given to the most vulnerable people in the society. TESTO came into existence and started to improve and look after the welfare of Afghan people in different provinces. Since then TESTO has been successful in bringing significant changes in the life of vulnerable Afghan people in the country with its limited resources. TESTO has implemented a large number of poultry projects in many provinces of Afghanistan. TESTO is an active member of the 13 Afghan NGO Networks, and 5 Ministries of Afghanistan. To impart access to education for Afghan males and females TESTO has implemented the following.
- Over 3,500 village women were comprehensively trained, provided with quality poultry production inputs, and organized into the Poultry Producer Groups for sustainability funded by PRT Ghazni Province of Afghanistan.
- Developing village poultry production systems in the different districts of Ghazni Province. Trained over 2,500 village women in better and improved systems of village poultry production, provided them with quality inputs, and organized them in village groups and value chain activities for sustainability.
- Influenza disease awareness project in 8 districts of Ghazni Province Funded by PRT-Ghazni in 2011.
- Goat rearing project, 160 widows and poor women responsible for the family survival living in the Villages of Ghazni Province were trained and provided with goats. Funded by PRT Ghazni in 2011
- Honey Beekeeping income generation project for improvement of Livelihood and increasing of orchard productivity, funded by PRT Ghazni in 2012.
- Support poultry farming for 2000 vulnerable families through the provision of pullets in Ghazni Province, funded by PRT, 2012.
- Consultancy Services for Poultry Component of Horticulture and Livestock Funded by PRT, 2013.
- Poultry Production and Honey Bee Keeping Projects for 240 families in Dehyak, Qara bagh, Khwaja Omari, Malistan, and Jaghatoo Districts of Ghazni Province funded by PRT 2013 and 2014.
Emergency Pelief and Aid Distribution
The current humanitarian situation in Afghanistan is considered one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises. The country needs large-scale basic humanitarian aid severe food crisis is predicted. Due to decades of ceaseless conflict, recurrent droughts, and a sharp economic decline and recent political developments. To address the current complex humanitarian crises, severe hunger, and economic difficulties, we have teams of highly experienced aid professionals. The unit is led by highly qualified and experienced individuals with over 40 years of knowledge in the humanitarian sector and ability to contribute to donor programs in the present troubled situations.
We are currently covering the following priory areas under our implementation.
- Management and implementation of emergency and transitional shelter programs and winterization support to IDPs, Returnees, and deserving individuals/communities.
- Management and distribution of humanitarian aid including; Food Items and Non-Food Items for ultra-poor and afghans below the poverty line.
- Management and distribution of Cash Assistance including; Cash Voucher, Cash-Based Transfers (CBT), and through digital payment solutions.
- Nutrition project with a focus on women and children nutritional needs.
- Alternative Livelihood Projects/Initiatives to eradicate poppy production and chain.
- Agriculture Support Projects with focus on individual farmers, association, cooperatives, and unions. Ag-support initiatives for producers includes distribution of Seeds, Fertilizer, Farm-tools and Equipment and or access to market and credit to ensure increased agriculture productivity and food security.
COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT | SOCIAL COHESION
The goal of our community development program is to inform, educate and empower communities for peaceful co-existence, Social Order and social cohesion through community Integrated, community-led actions and implementation of important initiatives that brings communities closer and de-escalate local tensions.
Social cohesion is an important determinant of a peaceful and prosperous thriving communities. In Afghanistan, lack of social cohesion is a major issue that results in increased social tension, violent crime, targeting of minorities, human rights violations, and, ultimately, violent conflict. Community Development initiatives strengthens the culture of tolerance and respect for diversity (in terms of religion, ethnicity, economic Class, political Opinions, sexuality, gender and age) - both institutionally and individually. It develops stronger bonds across different groups, and fosters greater trust in the community and functioning institutions. There is much need for Reinforcing or promoting social cohesion to be an integral part of government policy and civil society engagement in countries where multiple tribes, traditions, and multi-linguals communities live together. It is even more important in a country like Afghanistan which has history of Civil War. Considering the need, the ongoing efforts are not sufficient and there is room for a number of initiatives and future projects. Our activities are focused on enabling activists, CDCs and community leaders to address social norms, monitor human rights and rule of law, support access to justice, mediate in disputes resolution, promote peace, and to develop community-based systems. TESTO is focused on the following initiatives for community development;
- Address the current gender imbalance in community planning at rural areas
- Revisit barriers and partner with social cohesion enablers throughout Afghanistan to address local challenges.
- Support youth in raising ‘youth voices’ beyond the community level, including through strengthened participation models.
- Focus on building resilience and mitigating fragility, to help communities and individuals cope with increasing adversities.
- Use the resilience and fragilities as a checklist to assess areas where resilience programming is most needed.
- Promote peace and social cohesion by engaging women and youth in community dialogue and planning activities
- Enable communities to engage in dialogue on pressing issues affecting their coexistence as well as way forwards to address those issues.
- Train community leader, CDC members, and existing groups of women and youth on Peace, Advocacy and Conflict resolution to enhance their abilities to address community challenges.
- Promote sport events among youth and provide resources of income generation for poor women
LEGAL AID ACCESS / ASSISTANCE
Fostering Good Practices and building mutually beneficial collaboration between the formal and informal justice sectors!
Afghanistan has suffered from four decades of war. Almost every institution of the country had been destroyed. Though there are some advances in revitalizing these institutions but they have not been sufficient and effective. In Four Decades of unending War the State Justice institutions were totally destroyed in Past 20 years’ reforms state justice institutions still face a number of challenges including corruption, Lack of Access, Awareness and Effectiveness. On the other hand, the traditional dispute resolution (TDR) is widely customary and Practiced in Afghanistan as it effectively serves the primary conflict resolution objective of moderating disputants and maintaining Social Order. In Past Even Formal Justice Institutions, recognizing their limitations, relied on the traditional justice system and referred many cases to TDR. In the process of reconciling disputants, a number of surveys conducted by national and international organizations such as TLO, ARE and AREP and international organizations such as UNDP, USIP and UNAMA show that the Traditional Justice System in Afghanistan is vastly preferred by the disputants for their conflict resolution. The collective research show that around 85% of the disputants refer their cases to the Traditional Dispute Resolution System, also named Jirga and Shura depending on different geographic locations of Afghanistan. However, specific illegal customary practices, such as "Baad”, and Corruption in property/land dispute decrees have been the drawback, causing harm and sometimes exacerbating or re-instigating disputes. TDR bodies are manipulated by powerful individuals (as are formal justice actors) and lacks the power to implement justice over Warlords etc. Furthermore, women are mostly not represented in Jirga setting directly. While both formal and informal justice have strengths and weaknesses, collaboration between the two is often unstructured and ad-hoc, neglecting an opportunity for value-added collaboration. Some of the major challenges in legal sector are illegal punishments in TDR/Jirga settings, interference of warlords in legal proceedings, lack of standard Legal Services by TDR bodies on local level and lack of required capacity to implement reforms In order to overcome these challenges, TEST has implemented the JEM model in district 1 and 2 Ghor City. Based on our Post Project assessments the model has been effective, TEST strongly believe that the model is extensive, effective and sustainable. With the expertise in successfully completing project er are ready to implement it in different parts of the country. Our statistical record shows more than from 567,600 populations most of the residents of stated that implementation of JEM model implemented by TEST was effective and they were welcoming to JEM model implementation as it improves access to fair, transparent, and legal local justice services.
The Audit/ Compliance Department
The department is working independently under the direct supervision of the Board of Directors. To ensure that the Executive team's performance meets policies and expectations, the Audit / Compliance management team carries out the following:
- Examine and monitor compliance with the governing, donor, and organizations’
policies and procedures and legal requirements.
- Report to the Board on compliance issues.
- Review all procurement and financial documents before reporting to donors.
- Critically review all documents to make sure they are legally compliant.
- Authorize the legal feasibility of projects/ sub-projects.