Children in Gaza are in desperate need.
Donate today
By Lara Robertson
7 April 2024

Right now, millions of childhoods around the world are being lost to conflict. From Gaza to Sudan and beyond, children are uniquely vulnerable to the impacts of war. They are being exposed to traumatic events including losing their loved ones, being uprooted from their homes, and losing their access to adequate food, clean water, education and healthcare.  

Poems for Peace gives children and young people a platform to share in their own words the impact conflict and war is having on their lives and their hopeful visions for the future. By amplifying young voices, UNICEF is highlighting the extraordinary strength and courage of young people longing for peace and stability in their lives. 

Since the initiative’s inception in 2020, UNICEF received thousands of poems from children and young people around the world. This year, six children from six countries share their stories, hopes and dreams.  


Poems for Peace: Chrisjordan, 10, Haiti

For decades, children like eight-year-old Chrisjordan, have endured so much: natural disasters, disease outbreaks, political instability, gang violence, poverty, and a near collapse of the medical and education system as many teachers, health and social workers have fled the country. Yet, the children of Haiti wish for peace. 

"One day I wish to hear no more guns shoot."

Chrisjordan, 8


Poems for Peace: Betelehem, 21, Ethiopia

”Poetry gives me hope when everything feels dark,” explains 21-year-old Betelehem from Ethiopia, who shares her wish for a safer, more peaceful world for children and young people.

"What I miss? 

The day to pass without hearing a shot,

The day to pass without disturbance."

- Betelehem, 21 


Poems for Peace: Wesam, 18, Yemen

In Yemen, 18-year-old Wesam loves to sing and wishes to participate in "The Voice” TV show. Wesam lost his arm, leg and eye because of an unexploded ordnance eight years ago.

"The most important thing in life

Is health and peace of mind.

- Wesam, 18


Poems for Peace: Fedir, 10, Ukraine

Now in its second year, the war in Ukraine has upended the lives of children and their families. Children like 10-year-old Fedir longs for the day he can return to school.

"The war has completely changed my life: online lessons, constant sirens, and fear for life. I really want to go back to school and attend extra chess classes!  I dream that the war will end soon, and in the future, I can become an astronaut, an IT specialist, and a chess player."

Fedir, 10


Poems for Peace: Kadidia, 24, Mali

In a community affected by a complex humanitarian situation, 24-year-old Kadidia speaks of peace for her beloved Mali.

"On African soil, a cry ascends

Towards a horizon where peace is dreamed

For every Malian man and woman

In their heart, tends it

A harmony where joy concludes."

- Kadidia, 24 

Burkina Faso

Poems for Peace: Olivia, 12, Burkina Faso

Olivia, a 12-year-old student, recites a powerful poem she wrote, calling for all adults to, once again, bring peace back to Burkina Faso. 

"Dear parents, dear comrades

It is still possible to eliminate pain in our streets

Altogether, let's join hands for a better Burkina."

- Olivia, 12

For every child, peace

Every child needs a peaceful environment to survive and thrive, but sadly, too many children are caught in the crossfire of conflict. No child should ever have to experience the horrors of war – every child deserves to be safe. But thanks to the kindness and generous support of people like you, UNICEF is on the ground delivering hope to children in conflict, no matter what. 

Donate to Children in Emergencies

UNICEF is providing urgent assistance to children. But we can’t do it alone. We need your help today.