At the age of 12, Ezzat’s days began at 4:30 a.m., when he went to work on the streets of Kabul to support his family by selling herbs.

Ezzat was already no stranger to hard work, having spent the previous two years weaving carpets with his mother, instead of focusing on school and playing with his friends. Ezzat didn’t choose his life of child labor, but as the eldest of five children his parents needed him to work in order to make ends meet.

Nevertheless, Ezzat dreamed of becoming a doctor, hoping to one day have the chance to provide a better future for himself and his family. But without another way to pay his wages, he needed to work, keeping his dreams firmly out of reach.

To Ezzat, nothing short of a “miracle” could have given him the chance to turn his life around and make his dreams come true.

The miracle Ezzat hoped for came when he was 15, when the ROYA Mentorship Program sponsored him to receive English lessons, computer classes, and mentorship. Yet, the scholarship didn’t free Ezzat of his obligations to provide for his family, which still barred him from focusing his energy on schoolwork.

Ezzat’s second miracle came when A More Balanced World committed to pay his wages, emblematic of the individualized support AMBW provides students in order to allow them to stay in school.

Ezzat now had the time and resources to pursue his academic dreams and also enjoy life as a teenager, filling his time with activities he enjoyed. Ezzat’s hard work and quick academic success was rewarded again with another scholarship, this time from the Bamyan Foundation, allowing him to attend a private high school while AMBW continued to pay his wages.

Ezzat is now 19 and in 11th grade, still working to achieve his dreams and provide hope of a better future for himself, his family, and his country. Below are the first two stanzas of a poem Ezzat wrote that he wished to share with AMBW.

 

I stayed awake until sunrise to write about love
To give meaning to love like a martyr with my blood

Your love is far to find for me like a bunker full of needles
I will find your love when I find that needle