Where is the innocence of children in Afghanistan? That is the first question that came into my mind when I saw those faces affected by a war that does not make any sense at all. There is a refugee camp based in Nasaji Baghrami in Kabul. It is a project implemented by Aschiana foundation in cooperation with the World Food Programme (WFP). Aschiana provides families with basic services and helps children who work on the streets.
Many children are orphans who have lost one or both parents. Many work on the streets selling chewing gum and cigarettes or washing cars. Mohammad is 15 years old. He was given boxing gloves by his father who was killed three years ago. He is the only male in the house and is the main earner for a family, supporting his mother and sister. Classes for the children are held in the refugee camp. Students get paid at least 20 US dollars a day to compensate for the money they will not earn from working in the street. The aim is to educate children so they will be able to enter the school system.
Despite the great work Aschiana does, the conditions in the refugee camp are extremely poor. Children are running and playing surrounded by human faeces and there is insufficient food to go round. There is not enough money to even provide the most basic services that this community needs.
The program launched by Aschiana and WFP ran until July 2011. The community still exists and some staff from Aschiana are working to provide at the least, basic education. A humanitarian crisis is taking place. People here are almost forgotten.
We live in a world where children are no longer human beings.
Written by: Andy VC
“Made in the Earth”