The Social Hubs opened in Kabul and Jalalabad in April 2018 as a base for services to visitors and for outreach into refugee and host communities. They were designed to foster social cohesion through socializing activities, mutual exchange and learning, as well as facilitating access to education, the job market and entrepreneurship. Until August 2020, they offered structured activities including life skills training and awareness raising activities that provided safe spaces which met the particular needs of returnees and enabled them to re-connect with family, rebuild positive social support networks and participate in community and livelihood or income generating initiatives. Furthermore, the hubs also sensitized stakeholders to the needs, extraordinary burdens and strengths, e.g. resilience, of the returnees.
From April 2018 to March 2020, the hubs had more than 22,000 participants including almost 8,500 returnees, more than 9,000 female participants including almost 3,000 returnees. In the final months of the project, activities needed to adapt to the Covid-19 pandemic in increased online activities by both hubs. The life-streamed programs had an audience of 1,300 and 2,200 participants, respectively.