Nov 14, 2008

The Nest

The Afghan Street Working Children and New Approach, or ASCHIANA (literally 'the nest' -- اشیانا -- in Persian), is an Afghan NGO (non-governmental organization) that supports working children on the streets of some of Afghanistan's most dangerous urban areas. Due to the massive male death toll in Afghanistan during the Taliban era, these children are often the breadwinners for their family, barely supporting their (often large) families on less that US$20/month, often by begging, scavenging, or selling incidental items such as cigarettes or chewing gum.

"ASCHIANA works together with Afghanistan’s Ministry of Education, Ministry of Social Affairs and the Afghan National Police to help children on the street receive a basic education — in Dari, Pashto, English, mathematics, Islamic Education, health education, mine awareness, drug awareness and children’s rights — and integrate into the formal school system.
ASCHIANA students also enjoy recreational activities through sports, music and art, and receive training in skills such as carpentry, woodworking, cosmetology, tailoring, painting, instrument making, electrical engineering and plumbing. ASCHIANA also provides health, financial and social support for students and their families."

They are supported in the United States by the Aschiana Foundation, a 501(c)(3) charity organization founded in 2004 in Washington DC. It helps ASCHIANA by poviding assistance in filling basic needs, such as hot food, footwear, schooling, medicines and refugee habitation where needed. ASCHIANA assists over 10,000 children in three Afghan provinces (Kabul, Mazar-i-Sharif, and Parwan).

The Indian Head Test Card, an iconic image for the young television-viewing public throughout the 1950s and later, will essentially no longer have a medium on which to broadcast, if it ever were to be broadcast at all. With the advent of the digital television revolution and the declining need in physical camera test cards, items like the Indian Head card fell into disuse, and with the switch to all-digital transmission just around the corner, it appears as if the Indian Head test card, long a staple of early-morning or late-night television, will find itself in the ashheap of history.

"The original art work [for the Indian Head Test Card] was completed for RCA by an artist named Brooks on August 23, 1938. The master art was improbably discovered in a dumpster by a wrecking crew worker as the old RCA factory in Harrison, NJ was being demolished in 1970. The worker kept the art for over 30 years, and then used the Internet to locate and sell it to a test pattern collector."

-- Image and quote courtesy Wikipedia.