Young artists highlight Afghans’ life in camps
PESHAWAR: Children from different local schools on Tuesday showcased the life of Afghan refugees in camps through brushstrokes and essay writing and painting competition here.
Paintings and sketches of 37 boys and girls from 17 schools were put on display at the Peshawar Services Club.
Amateur artists narrated the plight of Afghan refugees by pencil and brushstrokes. Judges and participants commended the work of children and their potential.
The Commissionerate for Afghan Refugees (CAR) and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) jointly organised the event.
Handicrafts were also exhibited there.
CAR commissioner Mohammad Abbas Khan said the purpose of the competition was to develop the perception of children about the plight of Afghans, their life in camps, and activities.
Speaking at the prize distribution ceremony, he said negative aspects of the refugees were being discussed in society but their role and contribution to the country’s economy was ignored.
The CAR commissioner said 75 per cent of the Afghan population were born in Pakistan and that despite security and financial problems, refugees had been living here for more than three decades.
He said children had explained real problems of the refugees which they had been facing in camps. Majority of the people did not know problems and sufferings of Afghans, he added.
“Kids never lie. They are the best judge that was why they were sent to camps to understand lifestyle and issues of refugees and explain these issues through paintings,” said Abbas Khan.
Mohammad Abbas said refugees wanted opportunities of decent life in and outside camps and the government in collaboration with UN would give them opportunities of education and health.
He said the commissionerate and UNHCR had planned more activities for refugees at their camps.
Deputy chief of UNHCR sub-office, Peshawar, Marin Young artists highlight Afghans’ life in camps Kajdomcaj appreciated the people of Pakistan in general and those of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in particular for their hospitality shown to refugees.
He said half of the children could not go to schools due to conflicts in different regions and therefore, the UNHCR put a lot of emphasis on offering education, health facilities and jobs to refugees.
Marin Kajdomcaj said education was key for secure life and that refugee children could not be denied that right.
CAR additional secretary Waqar Maroof said students would be encouraged to take part in such competitions.
He said more than 80,000 refugee children currently enrolled in schools inside the camps.
Waqar Maroof said a large number of Afghan children didn’t go to schools due to poverty.
He said majority of Afghan parliamentarians completed education in Pakistan and that they had been given important portfolios.
The CAR additional secretary said Afghan students were being provided admissions in universities and professional colleges across the country.
Later, cash prizes were distributed among winners, who were divided into two categories.