The adults in the camp don’t always have the energy to give the children the attention they need because they are focused on survival. What the children lack most is how to fill the long hours of each day. Many fled their homes under cover of night and threat of death and didn’t bring a single book, toy, ball or doll. I recall one girl, five years old, sitting in the mud and playing with the blue lids from the water bottles that the UN provides. She called them “her new toys.” She said: “I left my doll in our apartment. I actually locked her in a cabinet.” She continued to play, adding sticks to the blue lids to create a doll-like figure. “I wonder if she is still there waiting for me,” she whispered. I looked up and her grandma was standing behind her in tears. I went to her and she told me in a quiet voice that the little girl’s mother died the night they fled, as a bomb fell on their home.

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