Children of War

Toby Binder

2012 - Ongoing

Refugees and wars forcing people to leave their home countries have been a main topic of international media within the last years. But most victims of war remain invisible to us in our safe bubble. Especially in times when Europe is once again sealing itself off from refugees in an absolutely inhumane way. These „invisible“ never make it out of their country and the conflict zones because they are too sick, too weak, too old or too young. According to UNICEF, also 400 million children are affected by wars worldwide. In war zones medical care often collapses completely. For a large part of the population necessary treatment is no longer possible. Complicated operations can not be carried out even years after a conflict because qualified staff and infrastructure are missing. For patients this simply can imply death. In Europe, on the other hand, they can often be helped with standard operations. The NGO Friedensdorf International enables about 300 children to receive this life-saving medical treatment every year. Currently, most of them come from Angola and Afghanistan, countries in which wars have been raging for decades.

For the recovered children, a new beginning literally takes place after their return home. Although the conditions in the countries of origin have not improved, these children can now look to the future with more optimism. They have survived and, depending on the severity of the injury, can live without major impairment. Will be supplied with needed medical products from Germany.

With his ongoing series Binder followed the various phases of arrival, treatment in the hospital and life in the children’s home right up to the journey back home and experienced the great solidarity in which the children of different nations, religions, skin colours and cultures live together.

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  • Father with his injured son in a patient interview with the local partners of NGO Peace Villlage.

  • Shekiba and 54 other injured children are brought by buses to the airport in Kabul.

  • Children are falling asleep in the plane on their way to Germany.

  • Children from Afghanistan arriving at Duesseldorf Airport.

  • Injured children from Luanmda, Angola arriving on the airport of Duesseldorf.

  • A girl from Afghanistan is waiting on a bus at the airfield for the departure to the hospital.

  • Shekiba is carried off the plane by a volunteer of Red Cross Germany.

  • Beto from Angola in the ambulance on the way to the hospital. More than a day passed already since his parents put him in his best suit and have handed him over to the NGO volunteers in Luanda. That's why he is very tired and quickly falls asleep on the ride.

  • Muzghan arrived in a hospital in Germany around 60 hours after she left her home in Afghanistan.

  • Sonita from Afghanistan during an initial check-up in the medical centre of Peace Villlage.

  • Nasir, completely exhausted after the long journey, falls asleep in the hospital in the evening - even without taking off his traditional Afghan hat.

  • Two boys from Afghanistan are treated for free at the hospital in Kamen. The NGO relies on support from hospitals all over Germany.

  • Muzghan is also examined for the first time immediately after her arrival at the hospital.

  • Sonita at the windowsill of her room in the Peace Village, which she shares with 3 other girls. The cohesion and community is very important for the children.

  • Friendship and solidarity in the dining room of the children's home.

  • Excitedly, the group travels by bus from Kabul airport through the city centre to the Red Crescent compound where parents are already waiting for their children.

  • Parents wait with their documents in the courtyard of the Red Crescent Kabul.

  • Teena is very happy to be in her father's arms again.

  • Parents lining up for the handover of the children.

  • A father leaves the Red Crescent compound with his healed child.