Engineer Mohammad Yousef was born in Wardak Province, Afghanistan in 1967. Soon after his was born, he and his family shifted to Kabul looking for a better life in the capital city. After completing his school education, he worked with different international humanitarian organisation in Afghanistan since his college days.

In 1995, his life changed when he met with a shoeshine in the street of Kabul who despite being top of his class had to quit school and started shining shoes in the street.

“I started thinking, why should I not do something for these children?They have the talent, they know the importance of education, they are the future of this country. Why should I not do something?”

He began discussing it with friends working with the developmental organisation.  At first, they were dismissive, but Yousef persisted.In 1995, he started a programme to help four hundred children living or working on Kabul’s streets.It was the first programme of its kind in Afghanistan.

Aschiana blossomed from there.

He has been an advisory to the Ministry of Social, Labour and Disabled Affairs, to different ministries on rural development and peace building amongst others. He is a membership and Head of IBBY (International Board on Books for Young People), IBBY works to promote reading books across the world and is working in more than 89 countries.

Eng. Yousef completed his Bachelor of Science in Electronics Engineering from the Polytechnic Institute Kabul, Afghanistan in 1986. He also holds a Master’s in Arts in Human Resources Management from the Indian School of Business and Management (ISBM), Mumbai, India which he pursued in 2004.