Archive for child

The Most Dangerous Place to be Born

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 4, 2011 by stevemccurry

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  Afghanistan is the worst place to be a child.
-UNICEF

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As politicians, pundits, and diplomats endlessly debate the future of the world’s involvement in Afghanistan, it seems wise to reflect on the  innocents of Afghanistan over the decades of invasions, insurgencies, civil wars, and abject poverty. 

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 “Afghanistan today is without doubt the most dangerous place on earth to be born.”
– Daniel Toole, UNICEF, Regional Director for South Asia

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 The burden of wars, poverty, instability, and insurgencies has always been borne disproportionately by children.  They are killed and maimed by landmines and other explosives.   Schools are being destroyed by the Taliban, and girls who seek an education are often threatened and attacked.   Children are recruited by the Taliban to be suicide bombers and smugglers.

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 No one growing up in Afghanistan has ever known what it is like to live in a country at peace.

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These pictures are hard to look at, but much harder for the parents
to look at their children who are severely injured physically, emotionally, and psychologically.

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 A UNICEF-supported study found that the majority of children under 16 years in Kabul suffer from psychological trauma. 

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During the ten years the Soviets were in Afghanistan, they killed one million Afghans.  Five million became refugees.

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UNICEF, the UN children’s agency, says that Afghanistan is the worst place in the world to be a child. One in five children do not live past the age of five.  Most of those deaths are caused by curable childhood diseases and malnutrition, compounded by the security situation, which means that parents are unable to access proper health care.

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It is estimated that at least 30% of children from five to fourteen work to help their families survive.  Many weave rugs and work at factories making bricks.

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00299_01, Kabul, Afghanistan, 2002, AFGHN-12432. A water vendor poses.

“It is very difficult to put a hard and fast figure to the number of children dying from hypothermia alone on Kabul’s streets as there would undoubtedly be other reasons that would make them sick or vulnerable in the first place,” UNICEF regional communications chief Sarah Crowe wrote.

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 “Extreme poverty, having lost a parent, being trafficked or displaced, or many other reasons may have forced them on to the streets where they would be deprived of their most basic needs (decent food, health, immunization, protection) and exposed to the extreme cold of Afghan winters.”

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“There are a lot of children in Afghanistan, but little childhood.”
– Khaled Hosseini,  The Kite Runner

Mother and Child

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 18, 2010 by stevemccurry
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Woman and child at a Horse Festival in Tagong, Kham, Tibet

 

Artists have been depicting the special bond between mothers and their children for hundreds of years.

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Nepal


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Loikaw, Myanmar/Burma

 

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Germany

 

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Zagreb, Croatia

 

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Kham, Tibet


Relationships can be difficult to describe, and sometimes an image tells the story better than words. Painters from the Renaissance to the Impressionists to Mary Cassat, Diego Rivero, Van Gogh, and Picasso each depict something special and unique about motherhood. One of the most powerful and unforgettable photos depicting a mother and her children in the history of photography, is Dorothea Lange’s photograph of a destitute mother and her children taken in 1936.

Dorothea Lange said in an interview about the picture, “She said that they had been living on frozen vegetables from the surrounding fields, and birds that the children killed. She had just sold the tires from her car to buy food. There she sat in that lean- to tent with her children huddled around her, and seemed to know that my pictures might help her, and so she helped me.”

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Montenegro

 

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Vietnam


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Afghanistan


“Thou art thy mother’s glass, and she in thee Calls back the lovely April of her prime…”
-William Shakespeare, Sonnet 3

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Ghazni, Afghanistan

 

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Mumbai, India


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Kamdesh, Afghanistan

 

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Kabul, Afghanistan

 

A woman waits at the gate of presidential palace to inquire about her missing son who had been a soldier in the Afghan Army

“A mother’s love for her child is like nothing else in the world. It knows no law, no pity, it dares all things and crushes down remorselessly all that stands in its path.”
- Agatha Christie

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