When elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers. This ancient proverb of the Kikuyu people, a tribal group in Kenya, Africa, is as true today as when the words were first spoken, perhaps thousands of years ago. Its essence is simplicity: when the large fight, it is the small who suffer most. And when it comes to war, the smallest, the most vulnerable, are the children. When Elephants Fight presents the stories of five children from five very different and distinct conflicts. Along with these very personal accounts, the book also offers brief analyses of the history and geopolitical issues that are the canvas on which these conflicts are cast. When Elephants Fight is about increasing awareness. For the future to be better than the past, better than the present, we must help equip our children with an awareness and understanding of the world around them and their ability to bring about change. Gandhi stated, "If you are going to change the world, start with the children."
When Elephants Fight: The Lives of Children in Conflict in Afghanistan, Bosnia, Sri Lanka, Sudan and Uganda (Orca Books)by Eric Walters Adrian Bradbury
Based on the eyewitness accounts of five children experiencing wars around the world, each chapter in this powerful volume tells one victim's personal story in detail, followed by a long discussion of the history and politics of the conflict. The narratives are in the third person, accompanied by occasional moving photos of the child before the war, of his or her home under fire, and a brief final "follow-up" note about where the child is now. Some young people are direct targets in cases of genocide, with child soldiers trained to dehumanize others. Some children bear the brunt of an attack, as so-called collateral damage, and suffer starvation, disease, and loss of shelter. They also lose out when there are no resources for health and education. Some are in refugee camps and army barracks. A few lucky ones are immigrants who escaped. One, Toma in Chad, remains an ongoing victim of war. The harrowing individual accounts humanize today's news reports and statistics.
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