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UNICEF Organizes Poem for Peace in Maiduguri

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UNICEF Organizes Poem for Peace in Maiduguri

By: Michael Mike

To commemorate the 2023 World Poetry Day, UNICEF organised a poetry competition for children affected by conflict in Maiduguri, north-east Nigeria. Here are the winning poems dedicated to peace in the region.
A place bestowed with peace
Exalted as the home of peace
A fortunate scope full of heroes
Surrounded by young men and women
As resilient as a rock.
Killing and maiming became a visual perspective
Freedom hijacked
Lives lost
Properties crumble
Our eyes are tired of weeping,
Our hearts are sick of woe,
Our days pass heavily

But the lamp of hope must glow
If life must be so full of care,
Then call us soon to thee,
Or give us strength enough to
Bear our load of misery – Abbas Bukar Lawan, 17, north-east Nigeria
From loud cheers to painful tears
From warm homes to cozy embraces
The wind blows cold, heavy with their fears
The skies clad and grey
Condensing into swords of rain
Cutting through our skin
Our blood boils with revenge
But what we need is change
The grey hair is withering away
Without any wish to stay.
When will we see the day?
When the wind will now be light
And the thick clouds would be bright
So the rays of peace will shine
With happiness and cheers
And the lives of the people who perished
Would now be relished
Let’s raise up the cup of hope
And let the rivers flow
To grow the plant which they sow
And the fingers which chose the contrary of peace
Would live to reap what the sow – Fatima Husna Zaharadeen, 15, north-east Nigeria
I stand under the sun stranded
Thinking of the days gone by
When people stand in unity and in peace
The grasses were then green
The wind danced through with ease
Peace was all that we could hear.
But today, today we hear gunshots
In place of the songs of the birds
Today we receive bullet shell showers
In place of the rainfall
Peace torn to pieces.
The soft music of life is now the painful dirge of our soul.
Only when the power of love
Overcomes the love of power
Then the world will know peace! – Khadija Hassan Elechi, 14, north-east Nigeria
Everyone needs free air
To breath freedom and peace
Let’s make the night bring a brighter day
For the owls to wander throughout the day
Stones are not food to chew  
For the poor man to relish with stew
The world is greenish on the other side
While here, it’s grey and yellowish
Bring the key that locks the door
When the bad eggs approach like owls
The light is powerful in its brightness
But the stars never hide in the darkness
Peace beams the heart brightly
For the soul to inhale and be healed
Peace is water, air and food
That everyone needs to survive.
Peace is food to the soul
For the heart feeds on peace – Zainab Umar Alfa, 14, north-east Nigeria

UNICEF Organizes Poem for Peace in Maiduguri

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