Borderfree Afghan Street Kids Support Doctors Without Borders Kunduz

Save Children from War!

I felt empty when I heard that to the north of where I work in Kabul, bombs were dropped on a ‘Doctors Without Borders’ Hospital in #Kunduz, for a full hour.

12 hospital staff and 10 patients were killed, three of them Afghan children. 33 persons are still missing.

Borderfree Afghan Street Kids say that the three Afghan children shouldn’t have been killed by a U.S. airstrike on a Doctor Without Borders Hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan.

I wondered if it was mainly medical personnel like myself who felt sad.

So, together with Ali, an Afghan Peace Volunteer, I asked the Borderfree Afghan Street Kids, whom I’ve known for a year now, how they felt.

I wanted to make better sense of my emptiness.

After filming the spontaneous answers of the street kids, I wanted the world to hear what they said, and to struggle with the questions they asked.

There is nothing like seeing and hearing from children, but this time, we needn’t carry on with our busy, disconnected lives.

We can allow them to move and change our understanding, and to help all of us take a different course in life, starting with our own #independent investigation, in our hearts, minds and in civil public spaces.

Schwaib is the last street kid who speaks in the video. He has needed special glasses since his birth, and together with this visual disability, he stammers and quivers when he speaks. But he was very clear on this occasion, “We should save children from war.”

Video text of words from the Borderfree Afghan Street Kids in the video

The three children (killed by U.S. airstrikes on MSF Hospital in Kunduz), they didn’t do anything wrong and weren’t Talibs. They were innocent but were killed.

Instead of war, we should pick up pens, and use them instead of weapons.

I feel very bad. Children were killed & we couldn’t do anything.

I feel bad.

I feel sad.

We should not fight. We should end the fighting.

Why should innocent children die? Why should guns be used on them?

I feel sad because, why is there no peace in Afghanistan? Why such violence and war and why should children die?

We don’t want children to die. We want peace.

We feel that they should not do these things again and not be violent.

We want to end war. #Enough!

I feel sad.

Such things should not happen again.

This is cruelty.

I feel troubled.

Such a thing should not happen again.

#Enough! of war. #Enough! war.

End war.

We’re tired of war.

War is not a good thing. We want peace in Afghanistan.

I’m tired of war.

I feel bad.

They shouldn’t have been killed.

I feel very troubled. If this continues, there’ll be violence on us too.

If the children were alive, their parents would be happy. Now that they have died, their parents would be very troubled.

We should have a ceasefire so Afghan children won’t die.

We ask the authorities to end the war.

We should save children from war!

Dr Hakim, (Dr. Teck Young, Wee) is a medical doctor from Singapore who has done humanitarian and social enterprise work in Afghanistan for more than 10 years, including being a 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 and the 2017 recipient of the Singapore Medical Association Merit Award for contributions in social service to communities. Read other articles by Dr. Hakim.