NEDA’s philosophy relies on the principles of education and empowerment
as major tools to achieve sustainable development in the society.
Azim 12yo, is a boot polisher working on the streets of downtown Mazar-e-Sharif. He is from a very poor family living in the outskirts of Mazar city. His father have left them after marrying another woman. He is the elder brother of a younger girl who collects papers and sticks in the neighborhood in order to keep their home warm. Azim says he is jealous of other children at his age who wear uniforms and attend school. He wishes one day he would no longer need to polish boots and can attend school.
Sayed Mohammad Husain, a 19 yo boy from Mazar-e-Sharif owns a scale and works in Blue Mosque, Mazar-e-Sharif since he was 10. He works in districts of Mazar-e-Sharif in the summer and after the harvesting season is ended, he returns back to Mazar-e-Sharif, takes out his scale and hopes for more people curious about their weight. Husain had a dream to become a doctor one day but he could only go to school up to the 7th Grade, then he had to quit school for supporting his family. “Working on the street at a young age and not being subject to abuse and insulting behavior is impossible” Husain says. Many of his childhood friends have joined bonds and arrested for robbery or shoplifting. Even one of his close friends have been charged for murder and kidnapping and now serving his sentence in Pol-e-Charkhi Prison, in Kabul. He says some children at young age prefer working and remaining on the street basically because they think it’s fun, but as time goes by, they realize their mistake and of course it’s too late. On the other hand, many of the street children are the main breadwinners of their families and they have no other option than trying to survive for themselves and their families.