When a nameless, disabled boy was delivered to us, by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Police Department, he was about two years old. He had been abandoned in a mosque in Kabul. They had attempted in vain to identify and locate his family, and not knowing what else to do, they contacted our project. We accepted him into the shelter while Ministry staff worked with the police to try and find his family.
At the shelter, both the other children and staff adopted the little boy into their care. He seems to have won the heart of everyone. The staff director remarked, "The other day I saw a 6-year old girl putting a blanket around him, planting a great big kiss on his cheek. He just giggled."
He has a new name now:Yosef. When asked why the staff came up with the name, they explained that Yosef had been abandoned by his brothers and put in a hole, but he survived and grew into a strong and powerful man, and this is the man Yosef would become. Staff have been holding his hand and helping him to walk and after just one week he was already able to move around with some help.
It's hard to say what the future holds for Yosef, but our team will be there to support him. The first hope is that family will be found, and that in some way we can work with them more directly. Ti's a desperate plight when a mother chooses to give up her child. He's such a happy boy and very loving. I imagine there is a mother deeply missing him. For now, he's our little ray of sunshine at the shelter.
The majority of our children come from the streets of Kabul with backgrounds in human trafficking, domestic violence, and other forms of egregious human rights abuses. Our shelter was established in May 2009 and is operated by a contract with IOM (International Organization for Migration). The facility is will-equipped and operates at capacity (35-40 children) for those receiving high-quality care.