Our cry to know justice

Voices of Youth - Day of the African Child creative writing competition submissions

Israel Sikumbili
Handwashing in Chilinde Malawi
UNICEF Malawi/2020/HD Plus
18 July 2020

I am a minor, a simpleton

I am inexperienced, controlled, sanctioned and belittled

I am therefor trafficked and abused

I am hired for labor, overworked (misused)

I am hidden from education, to forever remain oblivious and confused

If I chose to rebel I am backstabbed, segregated and false accused

Even though we “minors” might have never seen it

Or might not know what it is or what it means

We still ever truly seek



Many hear and nobody listens

They promise us action and yet I see no results

I always feel alone

Rejected and filled with pain

This life I live; I live in order to pay it back to my guardians like a loan

Right now I don’t even know whether I am psychologically alright or insane


I need that justice because I am the one who is most discriminated

I am the one who needs help to build a foundation for my future

I am a vulnerable, weak human being like nobody else

After all the trauma, I am the one who remains depressed

Even carrying the burden of the families’ breadwinner and people wonder why I am occasionally stressed

or why I have occasional unrest

We “minors” are the future, the next generation

And our better future means a better future for our next generation

But we feel that our visions and dreams

Will only remain a pinnacle of our imagination


The question that roles in my head


Why do I have no one to run to?

When those that love me hurt me the most

Why are the officials too far for my hands to reach?

When even my own community makes me feel abandoned and lost

Why does it seem like nobodies on my side?

Nobody understands or even knows what I feel inside!


Why can’t I live like everybody else?

Happy, fair and free with all the opportunities in the world

Why can’t I ever feel stress less

Why am I still consumed with the feeling of hopelessness?

To at least get the chance to help all those that experience this after

After me, so I could share with them the true meaning of love, life and laughter


Now home all day

My sisters tears flow more than ever

My pearly peer neighbors and friends punished with no food for days

Slowly losing hope in our lives, in those we love and in what the preacher says

We are no longer able to interact, to PLAY!

Why can’t you build us a community center?

Give us psychologists, people we can talk to, people we can trust and lean on

To tell us, warn us about the Covidly-dangerous time we enter

With no church and school but a picture of a future with a brighter dawn


Maybe it would have been alright if the money we needed from the Government

Was not given away or hidden in the pockets of the greedy

Then maybe organizations would work hand in hand with the police

To investigate homes, regions, districts, organizations to find the abused, trafficked, to find all the needy

To help those married off or begging on the streets

Those forced out of education or abandoned while ‘seedy’!

If only you could donate us any spare change

If Maybe, just maybe you could spare us some-CHANGE


So please help me before I become

Worthless to my society

Worthless to my community

Worthless to the economy

Worthless to my religions and philosophies

Worthless to my friends and family

Worthless to the individual full of potential embedded inside of me.