Orphanages in Kabul ::: Afghanistan 2007

by Kurt Hörbst/Alexandra Grill (Text)

Half of the Afghan population is less than 18 years of age. About two millions are orphans and many of them are suffering from post-traumatic stress syndrome. Over 400 000 children are maimed because of land mines. Young children are one of the most vulnerable targets of drug-dealers, war lords and terrorist networks, who are always and still watching out for young boys to be recruited. The Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs is facing the monumental task of integrating the orphans of Afghanistan back into society. We visited the two big orphanages of Kabul, Allhaudin and Tahai Maskan, to gain insight. The boys and girls have nice imaginations for their own future and some of them are working hard for it: School, extra lessons in english language, jobs like painiting the walls of their sleeping rooms and so on. At school the terms and conditions are difficult like the methods are quite old-fashioned, but everybody seems to pay a respect to the teachers and to be really content to have the possibility to learn something. Among the adults of Afghanistan there are more than 60 % supposed to be illiterates! Hopefully the educational situation is getting better not only in the capital.
Portraits of Mrs. Soraya Hakim, President of The Department of Orphanages, are included. Sometimes she prides herself in being the mother of over ten thousand children. Infact Mrs. Hakim claims responsible for managing the 27 government sponsored orphanages in Afghanistan. Presently these orphanages in the entire country care for more than 10 000 children. Mrs Hakim’s goal is to „upgrade the welfare and professional competence of the Afghan youth“.

:::August 20, 2007