Helping young Afghan refugees
I sat in the corridor of a hotel with some young Afghan children desperate to be entertained.
It must be so tiresome for them confined to a hotel in a cold, wet country where everything feels different.
A small child sat clutching a ‘Happy families’ card game, the type you might easily discard from a Christmas cracker. After a little convincing to open the packet, I set about trying to teach them how to play.
One by one, they began to giggle and call over their friends, totally captivated in a simple game which for a few moments at least, distracted them from the confusing world they find themselves in.
The irony of playing happy families with these displaced children was not lost on me.
Earlier in the day, an older child told me quite matter of factly, how happy they were to be here. They explained how they had hidden from the Taliban and finally, after much hiding, had made it to Kabul Airport.
They told me how scared they were to get on a plane for the first time. Then they told me how the Taliban had captured their uncle and it was the first time they had ever seen their father cry.
I, like many, watched this horror unfold on TV.
The ease with which, this young person was able to articulate that this was their reality, made me uneasy.
These children are safe now, but I can’t help wonder wether this memory will fade with age or stay with them for a lifetime.
We progress onto a simple game of ‘Pairs’ – the person who donated these games will never understand the joy and distraction they have given these kids , and how important these moments are to helping them heal and adjust to the UK.
To volunteer or donate go to Care4Calais.org