Ahmed, 7, Khitam, 4,  Zaynab, 3

“Our father was an old man. He was very poor. He didn’t have money to buy or rent a house for us. So, he came here (Baghdad), found this land, and built this mud house on it. We don’t know the owners of this land, so they can come at any time and tell us to leave. That’s the scary part. We don’t know where we’d go if that happens.

“My father passed away from a stroke less than a year ago. He used to leave home at five o’clock in the morning every day. He used to go to the large landfills and collect empty Coke bottles to sell them back to the soda companies. Sometimes he would find valuable items to sell along with the bottles. He used to make about five to seven dollars a day. He used to buy clean water and bread for us to eat every day.

“We only eat bread and water. We don’t know what anything else tastes like. We always hear about children going to stores to buy snacks. We don’t know what that means. We hear about it, but we don’t know what that is.

“I always remember my father. He always used to wake me up early in the morning to go with him to the landfills. I always used to cry because I was so tired and so scared. There were snakes and scorpions that used to come out of the bottles. And it frightened me. But we still have to go there now. That’s the only way we can make a little bit of money to buy bread and water.

“My mother is sick and can’t afford to get treated. She tries to be strong for us, but we know she’s struggling. After she dies, we will be left on the street. We know this is going to happen for sure,” Ahmed said.

The above represents one of many orphan stories by victims in war-torn regions. Your support can make a difference for orphans like Ahmed and his siblings. Make a contribution today by clicking here.