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What’s it like to be an Afghan child growing up in a country at war?

Compared to other parts of Afghanistan, Kabul is relatively peaceful and that’s brought huge changes to the lives of people living there – especially girls. When the Taliban were in charge, Maryam High School in Kabul had to be shut down because they didn’t like girls going to class or women being teachers. But now, around 3,000 girls go there every day to learn in two hour sessions. Not all girls in Kabul get the chance to go to school. The pupils have big plans for their futures.

Unexploded mines

The walls are plastered with mine awareness posters. Thirty years of war means there are unexploded mines and rockets all over the country. Even in Kabul, which is mostly mine-free now, kids have to know what they might look like, just in case. The bigger security threat to children growing up in Kabul comes from suicide attacks. Not a safe place to be The Taliban think international troops have no right to be in Afghanistan and will do anything they can to try and get rid of them. Most of the violence is directed at foreigners

like me, but nine out of ten people killed or injured in suicide attacks are Afghans because they aren’t as protected. For many children, Kabul is a scary place to live. The war has shaped the lives of Afghan kids.

More freedom?

Boys enjoy making and flying kites on Kabul’s hills, they sometimes use old military trip wire as kite strings. The work of international troops had given those boys more freedom. Under the Taliban, flying a kite would have been against the law. But the war isn’t over yet. Foreign leaders do plan to hand security control over to the Afghans in the next few years.

The future

Without international security forces, it wouldn’t be safe for foreign charity workers that try to make the lives of Afghan children better to live and work in Afghanistan. The most high-tech armies in the world have been fighting the Taliban for almost 10 years. But peace still seems a long way off, which means it’s probably going to be some time before kids in Afghanistan will feel safe in their own country.”

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