Last December, I shadowed three girls who sold plastic bags for grocers at a market in western Kabul, where they lived with their families. Due to extreme poverty, they and their siblings had to work to make ends meet. All three said that they were most worried about attacks and abductions by armed groups. “There was a girl by the name of Kayenat that used to work with us. One day she disappeared during a [security] incident, but the police never found out,” 11-year-old Sadaf, the youngest of the three hawkers told me, dejectedly shrugging off the sudden disappearance of her friend. Many of the working children also feel a strong sense of responsibility to contribute to their families’ survival, and therefore suppress their anxiety when working on the streets, Sadaf explained.It was 1:00 p.m. and these children should have been in the safe confines of classrooms since the school year commences in the spring following Nowruz, the Persian New Year. But this year began with an ominous start, when Nowruz celebrations were jolted by the bombing of a Shiite mosque in in Kabul. The recent attacks in Herat, one of which killed and injured children, show how dangerous life has become for young Afghan civilians.