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Aschiana serves children who cannot attend school full time because they must work to support themselves and their families. Many children have lost one or both parents and are the main income earner for the family. On the streets they polish shoes and sell matches, cigarettes and chewing gum earning an average of $20 a month. If a child attends school regularly, the family loses essential revenue.
To help families, Aschiana offers mothers of working children instructional programs in carpet weaving, tailoring, chicken raising, women’s bakeries and hairdressing, along with education surrounding issues related to health, child rights and human rights.
Through Aschiana’s “Sponsor-a-Child” program, assistance is provided to their families. Each month, a child in the Sponsor-a-Child program who comes to Aschiana with an adult member of the family receives $20 to compensate for the money the child would have otherwise earned from working on the streets. At Aschiana such children receive basic educational tutoring so they are able eventually to enter the state sponsored school system. Once they enter school, Aschiana helps by providing them with food, clothing, stationery and necessary hygiene supplies.
Each day more than 6,000 children, often 60% girls, come to Aschiana for at least part of the day. Engineer Yousef and his team provide them with a nutritious meal, sometimes their only meal of the day. Older children receive basic instruction in English and in reading, writing, and mathematics, and receive vocational training including tailoring, woodworking, hairdressing and bicycle repair.
Aschiana provides working street children with:
- A daily hot nutritious meal
- Basic education including reading, writing and arithmetic and instruction in English
- Vocational training in carpentry, computers, electrical repairs, welding, masonry, bicycle repair, hairdressing, tailoring, and sewing
- Painting, calligraphy and wood engraving classes
- Life skills including land mine awareness and child abuse prevention
- A recreation space to play, something especially beneficial to healthy development
- Opportunities to learn art and music
- Health and hygiene training
- Psychological support and skills to support one another on the streets where they are vulnerable.