The terrible earthquake that struck Northern Pakistan left over four million people homeless, half of them children. The temporary relief camps, set up to help the victims survive the winter months, have been closed. Homeless Kashmiri's are being sent back up the same mountains they fled, to face a bleak future. 'They tell us the camp is closing, but our village has been destroyed. What am I going back to?' asked Nadeem, whose dead brother's body still lies under the rubble of their ravaged home. Though reconstruction has begun, much of the promised financial relief remains unpaid. The UN estimate of GBP 4 billion to reconstruct this broken land seems often an impossible target to attain. The Al Madad Foundation has, since its inception, been engaged in helping children in areas of war and conflict. Their first pictorial reportage, published last year, focused on the lives of Palestinian children. This new volume follows the same format; a portfolio of over 150 photographs, alongside the reproduction of the children's artwork and their writings. Stefano Massimo and Anthony Dawton traveled around the devastated region earlier this year.
Their moving and, at times, beautiful photographic portfolio captures the agony which the victims have been through, but also records an incredible fortitude by which the Kashmiri people try to cope with the overwhelming challenge of reconstructing their shattered lives.