Zubaira is 12 years old and one of the students of the basic education program at Aschiana's Main Center in Kabul. She could not go to school because the family could not support her school expenses. Her family consists of 10 members, her parents and 7 siblings. Her brothers are younger than her and her father has lost his eyesight and is ailing too. She supports her family by selling loofahs that her mother makes and her younger brothers sell pens and pencils. Her dream is to become a civil engineer when she grows up.
Roohafza is 10 years old and first cousin of Zubaira. She is the only child and her father passed away when she was very young. Due to health issues, her mother is confined to bed and her paternal uncle is taking care of her and her mother. She works and helps Roohafza in selling loofahs in return for the shelter and food her uncle provides. She may be small but has big dreams. She dreams of becoming a police officer one day, so she can have a life of her own and help treat her mother.
Winters in Kabul often reach frigid single digits. Students who attend Aschiana's education center cannot afford warm clothing, so winter poses a challenge. This year, Aschiana Foundation provided more than 150 of Aschiana's children with warm winter clothing like coats, sweaters, pants, and snow boots.
However, warm clothes aren't the only extra help that vulnerable students need during winter. After learning that classrooms weren't heated, we allocated some emergency funding so classrooms in the main Kabul center and two IDP camps could have heat throughout the three-month winter. Students were thrilled to learn that not only will they have new clothing, but their classrooms will be heated as well.
We're continuing to work with the Aschiana team in Kabul to figure out ways to better support the students and their needs. By working together, we can support vulnerable children so they don't have to work on the streets. Thanks to your support, Aschiana students can learn and grow in a warm environment this winter.
I want to begin by thanking you for supporting our Accelerator campaign and showing your commitment to Afghan children. With your help, we raised more than $5,000 from more than 40 people in just over a week!
Since then, Aschiana’s children in Afghanistan have been busy learning, playing, and growing. With more than a thousand children attending the basic education program, art classes, vocational training, judo and football classes, computer lessons, and receiving hot meals, there’s always something new to share. I want you to meet two bright, young students studying in Aschiana's basic education program: Kamil and Zubaira.
Kamil is ten years old, the oldest of the five children in his family. His father works informally, so supporting his family is challenging. To help his father, Kamil sells plastic bags in Kabul’s markets, but he only earns about 50 Afghanis ($0.73 USD) a day. He wants to be a police officer when he grows up to protect his country.
Zubaira, another student in the basic education program, is 12 years old. She’s the oldest of eight siblings. Her father lost his eyesight and can no longer support his family, so her mother makes loofahs that Zubaira sells. Her younger brothers sell pens and pencils. Not deterred by poverty, Zubaira wants to be a civil engineer when she grows up.
Students like Kamil and Zubaira fill Aschiana’s classrooms and motivate staff to work hard every day. Kamil and Zubaira can follow their dreams because of the support they’re receiving from Aschiana and donors like you.
In the coming months, I look forward to introducing you to more students and updating you on Aschiana's one of a kind programs. On behalf of the board of directors, thank you so much for deciding to support our work.
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