The voice of reason by the children in the wilderness


  • Florence Ngesa Indede Maseno University



Wars and tribal conflicts disrupt young children who are dependent on their parents for care, empathy, attention and protection. Some children end up in refugee camps unaccompanied by their parents or guardians. The long migration to freedom, in search of “my identity” and a sense of belonging is characterized by violation of the children’s basic rights.  The traumatic experiences worsen in cases of sexual exploitation of either the children and or their parents. They suffer physically and emotionally. In this article, I present the voice of the children in the wilderness expressed by a selection of a few poems by the children in the refugee camps. The analysis of this presentation is anchored on the following questions: what are the feelings, hopes and aspirations of the young children in the refugee camps? Which poetic stylistic devices are used in articulating their voices?  The objective of the presentation is to recognize, analyze and appreciate the voice of reason as articulated by the young poets. The analysis adopts a psycholinguistic approach to the selected poems which form the corpus of data analysis.  In essence and as a resultant or findings of this analysis, the metaphoric allusions, tonal expressions and personification present a profound reality of the cry of the innocence, optimism and idealism raised by the children’s voices. Through the linguistic expressions and stylistic devices, the children yearn for peace, stability, security and a return to their homelands. The poetic expressions form a basis of responses to the catastrophic experiences. The voice of reason by the children in the wilderness is not only an academic contribution, but maybe useful to psychologists and other researchers to understand the plight of the children in refugee camps.