We are butterflies concealing our beauty
We are pale flowers locked in our fragrance
We are stars in the sky without the light of the moon
We are clouds darkly holding heaven’s waters
Yes, we are Afghan children
We are deprived of the pleasures of childhood
—the toys, the laughter, the freedom
We are orphaned children longing for family
Some living without mothers, some without fathers
We are orphaned children desiring kisses from parents who have disappeared
Explosions are the music of our lives
We are orphaned children existing inside cold, cramped tents
We are orphaned children working to feed our families
Working with tiny, cold hands
Hands aching during the night
Hands begging to be warm
During every second we breathe, loud voices escape
Shrieking
We want life, happiness
—food, toys, books, school, peace
Yes, we still have hopes
It is never impossible
We will be shiny butterflies
We will be soft flowers spreading our sweet smell
We will be the light in the sky even during the night

By Farahnaz

Photo: Ingo Arndt / WWF