Children in Crisis

“When I heard about the closure of schools, I felt as if the world became dark on me because [the doors to] education, school and the future were closed for us,” says Yalda.* “And I thought I’ll not be able to follow my dream anymore.” In March 2022, Yalda, 18, arrived at school in Afghanistan after the winter holiday, excited to start her final year of high school. But instead, she was told to go home, and that she was not allowed in school. This was devastating for her. Not only has she been unable to complete her final year, It means her future is also on hold, as she cannot start university until her high education is completed.

Azida’s Childhood has been torn apart by a barbed wire fence on which one side is her home, Myanmar; and the other side is Bangladesh, where she is called a “Refugee”. Five years ago, when Azida was only six years old, she was forced to leave her home as well as a part of her sweet childhood. Eleven-year-old Azida lives in the largest refugee camp in the World in Cox’s Bazar which is home to one million Rohingya refugees and half a million children.

Amid roadside restaurants and bustling crowds in one of Herat’s busiest markets, 10-year-old Wakeel is working as a shoeshine boy. Until recently, he had never stepped foot inside a school, instead roaming the street of his city, equipped with a simple brush and several small glass bottles filled with shoe polish, working 11-hour days to provide an income for his family.