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THE ASCHIANA CENTER FOR STREET WORKING CHILDREN, KABUL
01 March 1995
ASCHIANA street-working children project started March 1995 in Shar-I-Naw area of Kabul city to address the needs of children begging and working in this area. The founder of the project is Engineer Yousef, who is still the director of ASCHIANA. Initially the project has been supported by Terre des hommes (Tdh) and the French NGO AVICEN by establishing a drop-in center for street-working children in Shar-I-Naw and in Khair Khana for about 250 boys and girls. End of 1995 the French NGO AVICEN resigned from supporting ASCHIANA due to some financial constraints. In 1996 ASCHIANA and Terre des hommes with the financial assistance of UNHCR conducted a survey in 10 districts of Kabul and identified a total number of 28,000 children aged between 6 and 16 working and begging in the streets. Their main activities were and still are begging, collecting plastic material, paper and garbage for fuel, shoe polishing, selling small items, car washing etc.
In 1997 two more centers were established, one in DeAfghanan and the fourth one in Micro Rayan No.3, reaching already 650 boys and girls. In 1998 these four centers reached already 1,300 boys and girls, supported by Terre des hommes (Tdh). On 1st of May 2001 ASCHIANA established the fifth center in KarteSe for 100 boys and 50 girls in home schools with the support of Save the Children Fund-Sweden. The sixth center for 300 girls has been established end of May 2001, after Terre des hommes (Tdh) and ASCHIANA signed a joint agreement with the Taliban government. In addition ASCHIANA started secret home schools for 222 girls, after they have been driven out from the centers by the Taliban authorities.
On 17th of November 2001 the 650 girls begun to return to all the centers. They were expelled in 1998 due to Taliban edicts but ASCHIANA continued to give them services outside the centers. ASCHIANA together with its partner Terre des hommes surveyed and assessed the situation of 37,284 street working children in 16 districts of Kabul during the months of March to May 2002.
ASCHIANA is nowadays providing services to 2.089 street-working children in Kabul.
Due to the recent political changes in Afghanistan, the Aschiana project lost three of its centers in June 2002 and one center in January 2003. The landlord of one center increased in June the rent from 100 USD/month to 4,000 USD per month in June 2002. The Ministry of Social Affairs â€“ Kindergarten Department - evacuated Microrayan Center III also in June 2002, hosting a drop-in center for boys & girls, a womanâ€™s center for adolescent girls and a maternal health clinic, and evacuated in January 2003 the centre KhairKhana. The ministry is going to establish a kindergarten in the same centers. Terre des hommes & Aschiana managed to rent a dilapidated place nearby â€“ Center Shash Darak - in order to accommodate about 900 street children who have been evicted in June 2002.
2002 by terre des hommes
and European Commission â€“ Humanitarian Office (ECHO).
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