Ismail: A Street Child’s Story

Our school for street children is close to its six-month anniversary and we are proud to continue our efforts in the reintegration process of Kabul’s street children. This is Ismail’s story. His story is about how willingness to learn new things battled unfavourable circumstances and difficulties of Afghan reality.

Ismail, aged 12, is an Afghan boy from a poor family. He has three sisters and his parents, who are jobless. His father tries to make money for the family selling vegetables and fruits on the street. The family is internally displaced. They moved to Kabul 4 years ago from Samangan province in the north of the country. The family was forced to pack their modest belongings and change their place of living due to the ongoing conflict in their home region. Ismail’s parents were seeking safety for their young children as staying in Samangan was too dangerous and uncertain.

Since Ismail’s father was not able to find a job in Kabul, he did different gigs on the street. Ismail, as an only son, also felt a need to help his family. He has been working as a shoe shining boy on Kabul’s streets. His daily income ranges between 70 to 100 Afghanis ($1 to $1.40), with which he can buy some bread on the way back home. As Ismail was unable to attend a public school due to the need to earn some money to support his family, he joined AfD’s street school in January 2017. He was very happy to get a plate of hot food and learn some literacy and maths skills that are so important in everyday routine.

Suddenly, Ismail stopped attending his lessons. Nobody knew what had happened to him. Fortunately, recently he returned to the school and asked to be re-enrolled. As it turned out, a car had hit him while he was passing a street, and his foot was injured. Ismail underwent surgery to be able to stand again on his foot. The family spent around 30,000 Afghanis for his treatment and are under debt.

Ismail’s condition requires a second operation at the same cost in the nearest future. Ismail lives in Gozargah in Kabul. Every day he walks many miles to get to his place of work. His biggest wish is to go to school on a daily basis because he enjoys studying. While attending the AfD’s street school, Ismail has learnt how to read the alphabet, spell his name and do some basic maths. Studying with other children gives him hope that one day he will get a proper education and won’t be working on the street again.

By supporting AfD’s Back to School project for street children, you help children like Ismail with the chance for a better future. Join us. Donate today. Help Ismail and other street children of Kabul turn their dreams into reality.