The Afghan Street Children Project

3 Kashanas - "Houses of Hope for Children"

Baqi with street children

Baqi with street children

Baqi Samandar, a social activist, who dedicates his life entirely to the street children of Afghanistan, founded the Kashanas - "Houses of Hope for Children" - about 20 years ago with the aim of giving as many street children as possible a chance for a brighter future through education, craft training and other support. 
After his return to Afghanistan from German exile in 2002, he was to be found with them on the streets every day and even at night. He talked to them, brought them food and took them to his family's houses, which they had made available for a street children's project.

Baqi with street children

The street children of Kabul

Hundreds of thousands of children, some as young as three, roam the dark, dusty streets of Kabul to earn the money their families so desperately need to survive. Up to 16 hours a day they carry loads in the scorching summer sun as well as in the bitter winter cold, sell plastic bags, clean shoes, wash cars or wave their incense burners (Espand) as a lucky charm. They are dressed in rags, their bare feet in rubber shoes. Many of them have lost their fathers and brothers to war and civil war and are now responsible for their families even as small children. They are often ill and severely traumatized. They are humiliated, indiscriminately picked up and imprisoned, exploited and kidnapped by human traffickers for organ trafficking and child abuse.
But these children also have their dreams. They secretly dream of becoming a teacher, doctor, lawyer or computer scientist...

The Kashanas

Baqi with teachers and pupils

Baqi with teachers and pupils

More than 1000 street children receive school education, vocational training, warm meals and loving care in the Kashanas. Under Baqi’s loving influence, an incomparable living and educational community has emerged over the years that is second to none.

Baqi with children in the Kashanas

Wood carving

Wood carving in the Kashanas

Wood carving in the Kashanas

In addition to classrooms, workshops were set up. Recognized masters teach in the workshop of wood carving.

Wood carving in the Kashanas

Carpet weaving

The carpet weaving works highly professionally!

Carpet weaving in the Kashanas

Sewing workshop

Everything from clothes to bags and more is made in the sewing workshop.

Sewing workshop in the Kashanas

Art works

Baqi Samandar

Baqi Samandar

Artistic work is done in the drawing workshop

Human rights apply to everyone!

The whole project is based on the conviction that all people, whether women or men, regardless of their ethnicity, heritage or religion, are equal and should be treated with the same respect. This appreciation is often given to the children here for the first time. Since children from different ethnic groups with different languages come together here, it is particularly important, that they have the opportunity to play together and work on common achievements in addition to the lessons. In this way, the community can grow together quickly. All decisions are made democratically and it was important to Baqi Samandar from the start, that there should be no chief manager, but that the students and teachers should learn to organize themselves independently. This is what the pupils, students and teachers’ committees are for.
In addition to the lessons and the craft training, the Kashana houses were expanded in community work. They were provided with windows and doors, paneled with wood, furnished with tables and chairs, a modern kitchen was built and an additional building was erected.

Expansion of the Kashanas in community work

Organic farming - a half-starved child can’t learn

The piece of land next to the Kashanas

The piece of land next to the Kashanas

Of course, food is an important prerequisite for these children to be able to learn anything at all. Baqi Samandar had an ingenious idea to find a sustainable solution to this problem. He leased the field next to the school and with the help of a farmer friend they cultivate it ecologically and harvest and process the food together. They also cook together in the new kitchen and the children get a warm meal every day.

Organic farming of the Kashanas

No more financial support since July 2022

Unfortunately, due to the terrible situation in Afghanistan and unfortunate circumstances, this wonderful project lost all financial support last summer. The pupils, students and teachers’ committees immediately consulted and decided to borrow money for the time being in order to be able to continue teaching despite everything. In the meantime, the teachers have been teaching for 6 months without a salary and some have now fled to Iran to find work there because they can’t repay the debts and also have to support their families. The children are back on the streets to earn bread for their families.

S'BRENT wants to save the Kashanas

S'BRENT wants to save the Kashanas at any cost and we will do everything we can to find sponsors for this project that is so dear to our hearts.

If you would like  to support us, you can do so by sponsoring a child, a partial sponsorship for the project or a one-time donation.

Updated at: 11.5.2023

Created at: 22.1.2023