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Aschiana helping children build better future

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Aschiana helping children build better future
Established in 1995, Aschiana (nest) is a charity foundation strives to provide a safe haven for orphan and street children to learn basic and vocational skills, as well as nourish and keep them off the streets. Operated uninterrupted for more than twenty years, Aschiana has trained, nourished and mentored more than 80,000 children and young adults so far. Nazar Mohammad, Aschiana General Program Manager told The Kabul Times that the main aim of the foundation is to help and cooperate with destitute, disabled and street children to build their future. Annually,Aschiana introduces around 2000 children to government schools, he further said. Totally, we have covered 5000 street working children age 15 to 18, he said, adding those children who are not eligible to attend schools, will be trained for two years and then will be introduced to schools. The charity provides courses in basic numeracy and literacy, together with training in things like woodwork, calligraphy, electronics and tailoring, he went on to say. In fact, the number of children working the streets of Kabul has almost doubled in the past five years, and an influx of returning refugees means the number will likely increase in the future. Though working on dusty and grimy streets may bring immediate relief to starving families, aid workers fear it will cost the children key opportunities—such as childrenwho could improve their long-term future. Aschiana works together with ministries of education, social affairs and the Afghan National Police (ANP) to help children on the streets receive a basic education in Dari, Pashto, English, mathematics, Islamic Education, health education, mine awareness, drug awareness and children’s rights—and integrate into the formal school system. Aschiana students also enjoy recreational activities through sports, music and art, and receive training in skills such as carpentry, cosmetology, tailoring, painting, instrument making, electrical engineering and plumbing. The charity also provides health, financial and social support for students and their families. Mirwais, a painting student of Aschiana said, ‘I have studied painting in Aschiana for six years. I have traveled to Sri Lanka once and got the first position in painting competition held among 32 countries. Now, I study minatory in Aschiana and hope I could serve the poor and orphan children in the future.’ Therefore, it is hoped that Aschiana could further help the street working and poor children build their future.