Thursday, December 24, 2009

Video: Children of Conflict Part 2 (Afghanistan)

Afghanistan, a place of wild beauty and extreme cruelty, it seems never to have known peace.

After the civil war of the 1980s, two-thirds of the population were either dead or refugees. And after the US invasion at 2001, a new hopelessness descended on the country.

Although Afghan children don’t know why any of these wars happened, they know they have been born into a devastated land.

Misery, poverty, cold and never-ending internal conflict - this is their lot. The film looks at the many ways children are compelled to work in order to help their families to survive, and at the terrible conditions they are forced to endure.

Few play activities for children exist, and with no sewage or drainage system in Kabul (population 3.5m), many of their play areas double as open-air toilets.

Signs of war damage abound, and the hospitals bear witness to the daily admission of children maimed by the unexploded ordnance which has littered the fields and valleys of Afghanistan for decades.

The orphanage outside Kabul provides food and shelter for the parentless kids, and though there’s no future to look forward to, at least it’s warm.

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