I am Ali Akbari, one of the ROYA students in Bamyan. When I was a kid, I was eager to study at school and develop more skills. I had lived in a district where educa-tional opportunities seemed impossible until my family moved to Bamyan in 2013. I was so pleased to experience a better life here which included the opportunity to attend school.
My father is a worker who digs wells. I was expected to work with him to earn our family’s daily income. Working as a child laborer was a nightmare for me. I often worked until 10 pm. This tiring schedule did not allow me time to study my lessons and do my homework well.
Besides working with my father, I also worked in a hotel. I had to wake up early in the morning and went to bed late at night. I made some friends while working in the hotel. When they realized I was curious about education, they advised me to abandon hotel work and start my regular lessons. I accepted their advice and quit that job to attend school full time. Science and English became my favorite subjects.
In the past, Bamyan did not have qualified English centers. But now it is a reality. ROYA, Pioneer English Center, Leeda Rahimi, and Ali Fakur, my sweet sponsors, have tried their best to inspire many students – especially underprivileged kids in Bamyan. There are a lot of students at ROYA and Pioneer and each of them has their own goal for a bright future. Some of them want to become lawyers, some doctors, some teachers, some presidents and so on. Their long-life goals inspire not only themselves, but also other students studying with them.
ROYA has brought a lot of changes in my life. I have been a position holder in almost every semester after joining ROYA. I learned a lot from ROYA. For instance, I learned how useful English can be in our daily lives. Without English, it is impossible to get a scholarship outside of our country. I also learned how to help needy people and how to inspire uneducated people. I learned how to motivate students and how to manage all the responsibilities we have in our lives.
ROYA has done incredible work so far. It has three branches in Afghanistan – in Bamyan, Kabul and Ghor. When ROYA started its work in Bamyan, it seemed impossible that it would succeed with only twelve students. But in a short amount of time, the number of students has increased not only in Bamyan, but also in Kabul and Ghor.
ROYA is like a family. All the kids in ROYA care about each other and value our friendships. We are happy when they see each other around town. We discuss our studies and class issues. When students are absent or forget to communicate with their mentors, they remember Kara and all her hard work on their behalf and feel guilty and try to be better. I want to become a person in the future who can help uneducated and poor kids in Afghanistan. I wish there were more organizations like ROYA.
** Note: Republished from the first monthly newspaper of Pioneer Educational and Cultural Organization.