After more than 25 years of war and conflict, there are an estimated 600,000 working street children in Afghanistan. These children are girls and boys between the ages of five and sixteen years old. They make a bare livelihood, working and scavenging on the streets.
Their work often provides the only means of support for their families. They often have only a piece of bread a day and little chance to go to school. Many have lost one or both parents during the many years of conflict in Afghanistan.
Aschiana provides them with hope and a better life. This grassroots program offers them food, healthcare, literacy and vocational training.
The Aschiana Foundation in the United States provides financial assistance to Aschiana to help it provide educational and humanitarian programs that benefit working street children in Afghanistan.
The Stories of Aschiana Children
Jamila is a 14 years old girl who attended Aschiana in 2013. Before attending Aschiana, she was working on the street selling gum. After being introduced to Aschiana by a social worker, Jamila and her family agreed to attend Aschiana. After only a year, Jamila, was able to transition to third grade in a formal school. She says she feels much happier, and most importantly, proud of her accomplishment. Thanks to Aschiana, she’s also helping some of her family members to learn and urges everyone to get an education instead of working on the street.
Nabila is a 15 years old girl who attended Aschiana. Before attending Aschiana, she was collecting pieces of paper and selling shopping bags on the streets. Through Aschiana’s sponsorship pro-gram, Nabila was also transitioned to a formal school. At school, she was her school’s bank manager. Later, while she was attending an international children’s conference, due to her knowledge and confidence, she was selected to represent children from all the South Asian coun-tries. She is now representing these countries at an internationally renown network.
Aziza, a 15 year old girl, went from being an internally displaced person in Kabul to winning an International Peace Award! Before being introduced to Aschiana, she worked to collect paper and wood for her mother to build a cooking fire. After two years at Aschiana’s intensive program, she integrated to a formal public school near her home. With her talent in art, she registered in a competition where she was asked to paint a message of peace. Out of 34 countries, her work was selected as the best! The Peace Award was given to her and to Aschiana. She said, “that was the happiest day of my life when everyone was talking about me.” She’s now working with other girls to educate them and raise awareness about their rights.