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School for street-working children: the story of Asma

Asma is a young student at AfD’s school for street-working children in Kabul.

The education program, launched in 2016, hosts boys and girls aged 5 to 15, providing basic literacy and numeracy skills. The children enrolled in the program are not able to attend public school, as they either cannot afford the expenses related to schooling or are forced to work on the streets of Kabul in order to support their families.

The children attending AfD’s schools are also offered a meal every day; for most of them this is the first and only meal of the day.

In 2018 a sports training program was introduced! Children can now safely play at a rented football field where they are trained by a qualified football instructor. Last year, AfD was able to open the program to girls, and currently we have an all-girl football team!

Currently, AfD has two schools open in Kabul. Both locations had to shut down in March 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic that also affected Afghanistan. The schools were closed for about two months and finally re-opened in June 2020.

Asma told her teacher: “I had very difficult days during lockdown; I had to work on the street, even if I was scared of the coronavirus, I had to work. At night I would have nightmares about getting sick, we could not afford health care and we did not have proper food to eat. When I was working on the street I was scared of contracting the virus. When I heard that the school had re-opened I was very happy, I had hope again about life and about studying, I decided to come here. At school, we get our hands disinfected and they provide us with a mask, and we also eat healthy food. This way I have the energy to work and provide for my family. Thank you for being here and for helping us”.

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