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CHILDREN IN NEED
There are approximately 600,000 working street children in Afghanistan today. Some are orphans, some are refugees and some come from dysfunctional families. All have had their lives disrupted by years of war. The Ministry of Education is not in a position to provide a part-time program that meets the needs of these children who have no choice but to work at least part of each day to help support their families. Street children are vulnerable and in constant danger of exploitation. They live in fear of being robbed of their meager earnings, their freedom and even their lives.
Malnutrition and medical problems also plague them. Even those who have a family do not have a sufficient amount to eat and do not have access to proper medical care. The lack of infrastructure and programs to address the needs of these children make this population particularly susceptible to disease and also places them in danger of being co-opted by extremists.
The program that Aschiana offers of basic literacy and vocational training, especially for older children, is desperately needed. Unless Afghanistan’s children are given a chance to develop and learn, the country continues to risk an unstable future.