Unlike here in the US, in Afghanistan children start working at an early age. Hamid is a 12 year old boy, who works as a shop apprentice for a construction shop. There are three other boys who work with him. His family is quite poor – they rent a one-room house, and only he and his older brother work, supporting eight family members.
Hamid started work as an apprentice in a metal shop about two years ago. He made about $2 a week when he first started about two years ago, and as he learned how to work in the shop he made more money. Now he makes about ten dollars a week. This money helps him to support his family.
Like most apprentices in Afghanistan, his dream is to open his own shop when he is older. MEDA helps Hamid and other apprentices like him by helping the shops he works in to provide safer working environments and get more business. It also set up some classes for the apprentices, many of whom do not have the opportunity to go to school, to learn how to read and write.