14 Afghan-made kites fill the sky in Richlands

RICHLANDS, N.C. (WNCT)–Kites representing Afghani children lost to violence filled the air at Richlands High School today.

Fourteen kites, one by one, took to the sky. Each kite was handmade by an Afghani immigrant and represents an Afghani child lost to violence. English teacher Bonnie Kennedy wrote a grant to buy the kites after her students read the “Kite Runner.”

“It’s about two young boys growing up in Afghanistan right before the invasion of Russia,” Kennedy said. “And it’s about their friendship. It’s about loyalty.”

The kites are lightweight and easy to fly. “They can fly them from anywhere so it’s not like they had to get out on the field,” Kennedy said. “They can stand on any roof or any alleyway and fly the kites.”

As with any kite, there were struggles to get them in the air, which was fitting for the struggles faced by the Afghani people.

“It’s really special because we’re flying it for the children who won’t be able to ever fly a kite ever again,” 12th-grader Cassidy Mulvey said.

Each kite is named for either a character in the book or child lost to violence.

“In Afghanistan, they learn to fly kites so early they don’t even remember doing it,” Kennedy said. “It’s that ingrained in their culture that they don’t even remember being taught they just know how to do it.”

Many students in the class have parents deployed in Afghanistan.

Kennedy says she plans to continue to have her future classes fly the kites in honor of the children.

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