Corruption alleged in scholarships offered to Allauddin Orphanage
KABUL (Pajhwok): Malalai, an 18 years old student of Allauddin Orphanage in capital Kabul complained scholarships offered to the orphanage students were given to people having connections with powerful individuals.
Malalai, who spent 11 years of her age in the orphanage, is currently studying in 12th grade. She told Pajhwok Afghan News her mother died six years ago during childbirth.
She said her father had long been jobless and he had turned old and could not work to support his family.
“My mother would earn money through tailoring and sometimes working at people’s homes families,” she said. After the death of her mother, her father handed her and her three other sisters over to the orphanage.
“One of my two brothers sells plastic bags and another begs, both are living with father,” Malalai said.
Optimistic about future, she said she had always been able to win first position in her class since first grade.
Malalai said she was also a member of the National Girls Football team and had traveled to India and Turkey for participating in matches.
“I am the elder member of my family, I feel responsible for my sisters and brothers, therefore I use the money I receive from football activities to pay for my brothers’ and sisters’ expenses,” she said, adding her salary was not enough to completely meet all her family needs.
Remembering her mother, Malalai burst into tears and wished she was alive. When asked about her future profession, Malalai cleaned her tears and said: “I want to become a doctor, but I cannot achieve this goal because of corruption in the government.”
“I have no option but to fight dealing with problems I and my family face,” she said. She was confident about her educational ability, but said, “The students wining first positions are awarded with scholarships every year, but those who have no links with powerful individuals cannot receive it. If I by chance I received a scholarship, I would serve my family and the country.”
She lamented scholarships offered to talented students were given to those having links with government or powerful individuals.
Pointing to problems in the orphanage, she said windows of their rooms had no nets to protect them from mosquitoes during night.
She also complained about the absence of bathrooms for girls and said only one bathroom was shared both by boys and girls in the orphanage. Malalai asked relevant organs to pay attention to their problems.
There are 70 orphanages all over the country with 35 of them run by government and the rest by non-governmental organizations. Around 12,000 children, aged between four and 18 years, are kept in these facilities.
Matiullah Wahaj, orphanages coordinator at the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, said scholarships were not directly distributed by the ministry, but a number of them were distributed to children of martyrs by security organs.
He said some scholarships were offered to students by the Ministry of Higher Education based on an open exam.
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