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Kaka Rahim, the Clever Street boy

    On a spring day of Mazar, Rahim an eight years old boy was walking around Government Press area, looking for customers to polish their shoes. Suddenly he heard children from inside the press courtyard. He was curious and was surprised when he saw some of his friends with street children making paper-flowers.
    Rahim is polishing and repairing shoes in Southwestern neighborhood of Rawza-e-Sharif (Blue Mosque in Mazar-e-Sharif) area every day. He says: “I always hear about child being abducted around the city and I am scared of bullies and kidnappers. I don’t like to work the way I do, but I have no choice, as my mother and sisters are dependent on what I earn.”

    Rahim is the youngest of the street children attending the supportive programs initiated by Balkh’s sociocultural Container. He is an intelligent, creative and talented boy. His difficult situation is taking his dreams away. “I like to go to school, but if I go to school, I will be hungry, my family will be hungry. Sometimes when I see other children going to school, I feel miserable about myself. I am eager to learn to have the chance to earn more money; then I can go to school”
    Rahim enjoys playing harmonium and he wants to learn more. He looks very happy when he visits the sociocultural Container with other children. He says that because of his work; he is tired and depressed every day, but the Container is a place of relief for him. “People look very bad when I ask them if I could polish their shoes, it hurts me. I always became sad when I am seeing other kids playing. Here I am happy because I can play like other children, I learn making different good things. It is both: fun and learning.” Rahim, although he is younger by age than many other children in the Container, leads them in different activities. That is why everyone call him Kaka Rahim (Uncle Rahim).