Bragging: Vitamin A(ffirmation)



You've heard about our Kids. Our Kids in War City. Simply amazing mostly Syrian children, mixed with some from Mosul...all of whom have escaped, bombs, death, destruction, civil war, Isis...all of whom have kind of just survived and grown up by themselves without any TLC. They lost all and now do life in War City, well it's safe but its more than rough with a big black American car that prowls the streets, and with only bright spot on the horizon, that being the candy man who comes twice a week for those who have a few dinars....and most don't.


No employment, no money, no going back, no going forward. It's a place where the sense of war just hangs in the air and clouds everything. The ground is always covered in trash, we pick it up endlessly. Sadly that's how many if not most of our children are treated and indeed see themselves. Trash. Of no value or worth.


So many times I have taken children aside, who knew no better, and whilst hugging them told them that swearing is unacceptable, bad- mouthing each other whilst inside our zone, simply will not happen. They began to learn values of love, friendship, care, tolerance, gentleness that is indeed inherent in their DNA but had been crushed through harsh years.

Our Kids in War made bracelets yesterday. Not for themselves. That would be too easy. Each in his own space making for himself. No. That's creative but not stretching in any way.


Each one was to think about one of the other children, maybe a close friend, maybe just a classmate and to look for who that child is. Not what their clothes say about them but to look at who that person really is. To look at their nature and character and to find the good. In the making of a Brag Bracelet to give the other a mega dose of Vitamin Affirmation. In times of war, wage peace.


Hassan wrote "You're a good friend". Mohammed gave Vitamin Affirmation when he said to his friend, " You're affectionate." Ali wrote " You're a good man. "


Sidra's word of affirmation are " You're lovable "


Our Ivan wrote to his friend, " You always help me "

It kind of reminds me of the film Shrek (yes I love Shrek ) who said this, " After a while you learn to ignore the name people call you and just trust who you are." Yesterday much healing took place behind the rainbow. Or as we say, Tikun happened. Pain of years of being called names, being shouted at, ignored, cussed at began to fall off as the children stood in a circle and walked to their friends, knighted them with a bracelet and pronounced who they see this friend to be. Brave. Infinity ( for ever ) Lovely. Gentle. Happy. Strong. Kind. Affectionate.



Affirmation of the soul. A mega dose of mental and emotional vitamin affirmation, the anti-dote to rejection, hate, and negativity.



We're allowed to brag a bit, right? Incredible Kids in War who wage peace and recognize the season...a time to build. They begin with each other, a building up of smashed, hurting hearts.


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Shariya Camp, Dohuk, Northern Iraq | springsofhopefoundation@gmail.com

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