Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Impact of conflict on women and children - Part I

So this week I've had no time to feel sorry for myself, being this busy actually working on human rights issues is a great antidote for the blues. In case I needed any more inspiration, check out this little guy who managed to find a grin for me despite the pretty horrrific experiences he has recently been through and the really depressing conditions he is now living in.

Yesterday I made a mission to assess the human rights impact of recent conflict in an area which I won't name - just to be certain that the stories I tell here and the pictures I share don't put the people involved in any danger. I met mostly women and children who have not only been directly affected by the violence, facing armed men in their homes and seeing their fathers, brothers and husbands killed, but who are also now suffering as a result of having fled their home villages. They all reported that they still felt afraid of reprisals, so although I know you are all friends I'd rather be a bit over cautious.

As well as the kids, I was really impressed by fortitude of the women who bear the brunt of so much of the destruction. I met one 36 year old woman with 9 children (eldest daughter 20 years old, youngest baby breast-feeding as we talked). Her son had been killed in one ambush and then her husband (who was paralyzed from the waist down) was killed when the armed men from the other faction attacked their house two weeks ago. The eldest daughter was shot twice in the arm while she tried to protect her disabled father from the gunmen. We sat in the filthy room she and her children have been living in since they fled their village the night of the fighting, when her house was also looted, burned and shelled.

Anyway - things are a bit frantic and I'm off on another mission to another province tomorrow so this post will be brief.

5 comments:

Hafez said...

Very nice pictures. I spend one year in Kabul. All streetchildren in the center of Kabul new my name, they knew exactly my car an where allways waiting for me...

Don t be worried to give too much information to your readers..

Cheers
Hafez (by the way, just a nickname --- ask Pumuckl)

Hafez said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Hafez said...

Very nice pictures. I spend one year in Kabul. All streetchildren in the center of Kabul new my name, they knew exactly my car an where allways waiting for me...

Don t be worried to give too much information to your readers..

Cheers
Hafez (by the way, just a nickname --- ask Pumuckl)

Frida World said...

Hi Hafez,

Thanks for your comments, the children here in Afghanistan live such incredibly tough lives. I am constantly struck by the adult responsibilities carried by young children. I'll post soon about a project we are involved in with children working at the border crossing.

Perhaps I am too cautious about secrecy but I would never be able to live with myself if I compromised the safety of a woman or child by sharing too much information about them here - so I'll try to tell thier stories without giving identifying details.

Thanks for your comments - as soon as my crazy workload dies down I look forward to having a good read of your blog as well - it looks really interesting!

Cheers,

Frida

Hafez said...

You can write me directly under hafez.beirut@yahoo.co.uk to give me a link. Than I ll tell you where you can reach me