But they didn't. Not because the World stepped in to save them when they were entrenched deep in the heart of the Black Flag recruitment camps. They didn't. No one lifted as much as a little finger. No one even batted an eyelid when they escaped emaciated, torn, and starved. And our kids didn't break.
Our kids. That sounds so good. Our kids. And we are so very proud of them. The Kids the world almost broke but didn't. It has been said that it's our children who are the ones are "forced to give violent expression to the hatred of adults" Our kids were most certainly forced to be recipients of and express the barbaric and putrid hatred of the Black Flag people.
When it became known that we are doing life with these kids here in Northern Iraq, many in the West turned to us using terminology such as " monsters" or " potential terrorists " and ask us inane questions such as " so aren't you terrified of them ? " or " aren't you scared that they will kill you?"
We present you our answer in pictures. Taken just two days ago on a chilly November afternoon, in our community centre inside one of the Yezidi camps in Northern Iraq. We present you our answer with hearts bursting with love and pride at these, our kids...who came oh so close, but did not break.
The only things that our " potential terrorists" attack are heaps of juice and cake with a passion and fervor, delight and relish.
The only thing they blow up are colored balloons and then they explode with laughter at the sheer joy of being freed to be kids again.
Our kids, now free to focus. Akram grabs our camera, sends our photographer outside and focuses his attention on the younger kids and the fun they are having while the extended families wait patiently but very contentedly outside.
Some of our kids focus on themselves and their new winter gear....all a great mishmash of colors, no uniformity to be found.
While many are quietly focused and totally absorbed on their developing works of art and childhood regained .
The season changed just two days ago, the temperature dropped, the skies darkened and the rain and storms hit in. For our kids too. But somehow there seasonal shift is not marked by the outside temperature or the darkness of the rain clouds. The kids the world almost broke are focusing on the sun which has just come out. And the flowers which are blooming and the birds which are singing. The children the world almost broke, are in a season of healing. Its an awesome honor and joy to behold. Summer in Winter.
To learn more about our work with the Kids the World Almost Broke www.springsofhope.foundation