Masaud and Rhoksar, Landmine Survivors



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“My name is Masaud, and I am 12. In my country, children love flying kites.

When I was 10, I was out playing and as I was jumping up to catch my kite, I stepped on a landmine buried in the road. The explosion took off my left leg, from just below the hip. It happened right in the centre of Kabul, only 100 metres from the Presidential Palace. It goes to show that there are landmines everywhere in Afghanistan. My right leg was injured. I still have to wear bandages.

After my accident, I had to spend a whole year in hospital. I think the happiest day of my life was when they gave me my artificial leg. It means that I can walk like other children, with just a slight limp. At school, I’m in the 8th class. I love school. I like reading and writing, and I love football, even though now I can only watch it.

The first thing I would say about the Chuchi film is that I wish I’d seen it two years ago, before my accident. The next thing is that it would be wonderful if all the children in Afghanistan could see it. I think its message is very clear and easy to understand. It’s also fun to watch. I now know not to touch things as they may be dangerous, and I know how to look out for danger signs.”



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“My name is Rokhsar. I’m 13 years old, and I help to look after my family by selling plastic bags and water on the roadside. I make about 30 cents a day.

My father is dead, but my mother is alive, and I have three sisters and three brothers. Two of my sisters are old enough to do similar work to me. We come from Panjsnir, but we all live in Kabul now. I used to go to school, but I don’t now. I don’t like school. I was on my way to school when I slipped and my hand was badly injured when a landmine exploded.

My accident happened two years ago, and I was in hospital for a whole month. My hand and my arm are a lot better now. One of my cousins was injured by a landmine and lost both of his legs. You hear stories about people like him who are in wheelchairs and who are hit again by landmines and injured a second time, which is horrible.

I watched the ChucheQhalin film at the Aschiana Street Kids Centre, where we do lots of sewing and drawing every afternoon. I liked the Village Head Man, and I got a lot of important information from him. I also liked Chuchi, and we loved shouting out the answers when Chuchi kept forgetting.

I can’t read, but I’m able to write my name. They are teaching some reading and writing at Aschiana, but I think it will take me a long time to learn. The things I like best are Afghan music, drawing and sewing, and I love going to one of my neighbour’s houses who has television. I like watching anything Afghan.”