In order to serve children who are Syrian refugees, we need to understand their situation first. Putting on blinders and looking just at their individual situations will not work to end these trying times. We need to focus on the big picture. Who are these children interacting with? Where are they congregating? How do people take advantage of them? What keeps them from getting the school, food, and resources they desperately need? These are all great questions, but here, I will address one thing: How can we start and continue to serve these children?
Assessing the Situation
According to the UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees), for every 100 Syrian refugees, approximately forty-eight of them are minors. Of the 4.96 million people who are refugees from Syria, this is almost half of the population. Children are forcibly exploited and disadvantaged because of the circumstances they face. Some children are forced to work all day instead of go to school, such like a boy named Ali. According to World Vision, “[Ali] sells tissues on the Damascus highway so his family can pay rent. He tries to be a tough guy, but sometimes he cries when people on the street say ugly things to him.”
Children not only don’t get to go to school, they have barely anything to play with, give them sensory stimulation, or help them build their imaginations.
(©2016 World Vision/photo by Jon Warren)
According to World Vision, “These refugee children stole a box and turned it into a car, then they fought over it. When they tear it up, someone will take it away to sell. Lots of kids collect cardboard, drink cans, or plastic bottles to sell.”
Children don’t even have a secure structure to act as a comforting roof over their heads. Law enforcement is nowhere to be found, leaving them vulnerable to theft, injury, or even death. Cleanliness is also an issue. Disease spreads rampantly in these tent communities, and clean living is completely out of sight.
With such harrowing circumstances, how can we even begin to help these destitute children?
Get the Ball Rolling,…
The International Committee of the Red Cross provides services to children who are hungry and needy who are facing the tragedies imposed on people during the current Syrian civil war. You can donate here.
According to the International Rescue Committee, you can volunteer your time by, “Mentoring refugee families and individuals, assisting refugees to develop effective job seeking and interview results, [and] helping maintain a New Roots garden,” at any one of their worldwide offices. Find out the particulars of volunteering here.
Come back next month for Part Two of 8 Practical Ways to Help Children Who are Syrian Refugees!