AFGHANISTAN: Poverty forces children to quit school to work

Many of the children lost the breadwinners in their homes or were put on the street to work, most of them as shoeshine boys or porters, washing cars, burning incense, selling small items or collecting metal. Others still resort to begging, but rarely admit it, considering such acts shameful.

But such street children are hardly new in the war-ravaged city of some three million. The children, both male and female, often assume the duty or responsibility of earning income for their families after the main breadwinners are killed or disabled.

For many children in Kabul, the families are unable to provide even the basics. To support the family, the children have to work to earn something for food, often under particularly dire conditions.

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