Orphaned at 13, Yasin was the perfect target for military leaders looking to use young children as suicide bombers.
One of his brothers was killed while working as a police officer; another brother he describes as lost. Two of his sister are married but he doesn’t know where they live. To survive, Yasin worked in the fields tending to sheep. His monthly keep was $40, a meagre amount but sufficient to feed himself.
On one fateful day, a group of people invited him to join them, promising shelter, food and an education. The education turned out to be military training and gun handling – they were training little Yasin to kill people. Drugs were administered to prevent them from escaping and they conjured up lies to the boys that heaven would be their prized reward if they became suicide bombers.
When Yasin was finally ready, they packed a vest full of explosive materials and told him to walk to a police station. Just before he could detonate the bombs, a policeman saw Yasin and managed to save him in the nick of time. The Afghanistan Ministry of Social Affairs later referred Yasin to HAGAR.
HAGAR placed Yasin under the boy’s programme, Forgotten No More, that is specially designed to help boys who have been severely traumatised. Yasin was extremely quiet. He refused to eat and often cried. In the night when he sleeps, Yasin would frequently have nightmares. His counsellor from Hagar Afghanistan diligently encouraged Yasin and persevered in helping Yasin. Slowly, Yasin became better and started talking with the other boys. In class, he excelled in his learning and even started learning to cook and repair mobile phones - skills that will be useful to find work in future.
Despite the trauma that Yasin has experienced, he has a big heart of gold and aspires to help others.
“I would like to be educated better, but I know that I have missed out on a lot of education and I am now older than other boys. If I can catch up then I would like to be a doctor because when I visited them I could see it was a good job."
Recently, one of Yasin’s siblings made contact with the Afghanistan Ministry of Social Affairs. The government is ascertaining his identity and once approved, we hope that Yasin will be able to live with his brother.
Although Yasin lost time on his education, we are glad that he is showing such enthusiasm in studying. Help give him the extra boost with tuition so he can achieve his dream to be a doctor. Thank you for your generous gift of encouragement.