10-year-old street kid Mubasir - Photo credit Hakim

Afghan Street Kid Mubasir smiles despite his difficulties

Watch 10-year-old Mubasir tell his story in this short video (youtu.be/1TC5_MzYOqI):

The Afghan Peace Volunteers run the Borderfree Street Kids School in Kabul, with 17 volunteer teachers teaching 100 multi-ethnic street kids Dari, Math, Nonviolence and tailoring every Friday, and providing monthly gifts of rice and oil for their families. There are now an estimated 2,200,000 Afghan children between 8 and 14 years of age who are involved in some kind of labour.

At this Eid, the Afghan Peace Volunteers in Kabul are collecting their Eid-e-Fitr for Yemenis who are starving in their conflict-driven food crisis, while Afghans abroad will be trying to make a small Eid-e-Fitr collection for Afghan street kids like Mubasir in Kabul.

Mubasir is just a kid.

But, like millions of kids today,

he works harder than many Presidents.

He works in order to survive,

and goes to school with an eagerness to learn

though he is taught hardly anything;

just fake and useless tests, violence and fear.

He sometimes feels sad,

the same sadness adults feel,

perhaps purer and less explainable,

and with less emotional support to help him cope.

He experiences a fatigue that is like trauma,

and trauma that’s like fatigue.

He smiles,


unlike many adults.


Video Transcript

Mubasir, how old are you?

Mubasir: Ten. I’m in the sixth grade.

What do you want to be in the future?

Mubasir: I want to be a doctor.


Mubasir: To help my country.

Do you also work in the streets?

Mubasir: Yes.

What work do you do?

Mubasir: Polishing boots. From 7 a.m. to 12 noon. I wake up, do my ablutions, say my prayers, and then set off to work.

You go home at noon?

Mubasir: Yes.

You have your lunch?

Mubasir: Yes, and then I go to school.

How much do you earn every day?

Mubasir: 50 to 100 Afghanis [*US$0.76 to US$1.52] per day.

You give those earnings to your family?

Mubasir: Yes, to my mother.

Do you have any special problems at home?

Mubasir: We have many problems. My father is in prison. I cannot manage on my own. There’s not much at home.

Do you sometimes feel sad?

Mubasir: Yes……

Why? Because the situation is tough?

Mubasir: Yes, and I miss my father.

Do you sometimes have fruit at home?

Mubasir: No.


Mubasir: Never, we’re definitely not able to have meat.

Are you tired at the end of the day, after working in the mornings and schooling in the afternoons?

Mubasir: Yes.

So you go to sleep early?

Mubasir: Yes.

At what time do you sleep?

Mubasir: 8 p.m.

Do you do your homework in the evenings too?

Mubasir: Yes, from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m., then I say my prayers and go to sleep.

Very good.

Mubasir recieves monthly food gifts – Photo Credit Hakim