Komorebi Post– “I’m the only one who earn money in the family. I make about 80 or 100 Afghani (0.93-1,17 Euros) daily. So, I’m busy at work and can’t reach school. I waited many months to register my name here in this temporary classes, but they have had enough students. I really need education. So, I’m expecting from this organization and government to create more classes like this. “
Murteza is twelve years old, he left school when he was in the sixth grade; to start working. He comes after his work along with 59 other children in similar conditions. Children in Afghanistan are engaged in the worst forms of child labor, forced labor in agriculture, in construction most particularly-in the production of bricks. Since 2002, different initiatives were created to reduce child labor such as: raising awareness, withdrawing children from exploitative work and offering children educational alternatives. The temporary classes were founded by members of Paiwand Legal and Social Empowerment Organization, in middle of the Prophet Ali’s shrine.
One of the founders and program manager, Zabihullah Askarzada, explains: “we have useful plans and programs in order to develop and create more classes like this around the city and entire Afghanistan. This winter, fortunately we had funds from UNICEF for winter clothes, shoes, food and some money for the families of these children”.
Positive feedback from the children
There is almost no absence amongst the student’s workers. Fowad is another student, who is always present and puts a lot of attention and effort during classes, he works after class. He is financially responsible for his family and brings home “the bread” as a shoe shiner. As he explained:
“We are happy with our teachers and this organization, and those who are trying to hold our hands. If their help was not there, we wouldn’t be able to continue our education. Therefore, we are thankful for them and we hope that they will accept more children. It would help me to bring my brother too.”
The classes are taught in different times to suite children’s working hours and teachers include women. The program also includes techniques to help children relax and/or acquire new skills.