David Sifra - the tragedy of the children of Afghanistan

09-09-2003

The young Czech photographer David Sifra recently spent six months in Afghanistan and came back with a heart-rending collection of photographs that capture some of the suffering and poverty of the Afghan people. Currently David is working to raise money for the charity VARA, to help provide basic teaching facilities for Afghan children. Here he talks about one of the most powerful images captured in his Afghan photographs - a picture showing a young boy in the desert dressed in rags.

David SifraDavid Sifra "This is a photo which I show to people when I want to explain what Afghanistan is really like. It was a moment that really moved me. It's a young boy who lives in the desert. We arrived by jeep in a little desert village, just a few houses. This little boy doesn't even know how to talk, although he's about five years old. In his hand he's holding a biscuit which we had just given him. He came up to us like a stray dog - on all fours, because that was the only way he knew, to show his subservience - this is how he gets food. He's an orphan from the war in Afghanistan. I don't know how to help someone like that. You give him a biscuit and some lemonade and some money in his pocket, but that only helps him for a while. There are so many children like this. You can't take them all with you. This little boy can't even speak, he just makes sounds, because nobody has ever taught him - he's like a wild animal - if you try to get closer to him, he runs away. He must have lost his parents when he was little, and ended up in the desert."

If you would like to find out more about the charity VARA or give a donation, you can visit www.varaafghanistan.org

09-09-2003