Afghanistan

Three boys playing in class and smiling at the camera.A young girl stands in the doorway looking in.A young girl looks up from her study materials in class.

At one street school, many students attended only half days because their families depended on their work as“cowboys” tending the family cow or goat. They cherished the chance to come to school and learn at last.

When the students heard the question, each student busily drew their response through art. One small boy of nine drew his animal on the hillside with a missile falling toward it from a plane. The hill had been pocked with landmines for decades. Before the explosive could reach its target, the boy circled it and drew a line through it. When asked to explain his art, he stood and firmly spoke, saying, “We live in a beautiful country, with hillsides of snow and flowers and trees and animals, and yet war has threatened our environment since before our parents were born.We cannot protect our environment until we have peace. ​We​ must be the first generation of peacemakers.”

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