PHOTOS: Why do Afghan children have to polish boots and sell “bolonis”?

Pax Christi USA received a note from PCUSA Teacher of Peace Kathy Kelly sharing a photo essay done by Dr. Hakim who works with youth in Afghanistan. Dr. Hakim, (Dr. Teck Young Wee) is a medical doctor from Singapore who has done humanitarian and social enterprise work in Afghanistan for the past 10 years, including being a friend and mentor to the Afghan Peace Volunteers, an inter-ethnic group of young Afghans dedicated to building non-violent alternatives to war. He is the 2012 recipient of the International Pfeffer Peace Prize.

The photo essay is entitled “Why do Afghan children have to polish boots and sell ‘bolonis’?” It begins:

Adila-Sells-bolonis-300x200Inam polishes leather shoes and Adilah sells flour pancakes.

They make a living on the dangerous streets of fortified Kabul, two of an estimated 60,000 working street kids in the capital.

10 years old, that’s how small they are.

Imagine ourselves at the same eye-level as Inam and Adilah, in the dusty alleys, swarmed by smelly drains, threatened by desperate crimes.

Like them, you often hear helicopters hovering so close overhead that the windows in your rented mud rooms rattle. You see the polished, bullet-proof cars of the corrupt Afghan ‘elite’, mostly men, dressed in suits and ties…

Click here to see and read the entire photo essay.

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