Many Syrian children have never known a time without war. For millions of them, the conflict has stolen their childhood and affected their long-term physical and mental health as well as their prospects for the future. Many children caught up in this crisis have lost family members and friends to the violence, suffered physical and psychological trauma, and had to leave school.
Here are some specific ways the Syrian war is affecting children:
- Diseases and malnutrition: Children are susceptible to ailments brought on by poor sanitation, including diarrheal diseases. They may miss vaccinations and regular health checkups, especially in cut-off areas. In poor housing, cold weather increases the risk of pneumonia and other respiratory infections.
- Child labor and child soldiers: Many refugee children have to work to support their families. Often they work in dangerous or demeaning circumstances for little pay. Some are forcibly recruited children who serve as fighters, human shields, and in support roles.
- Lack of education opportunities: About 40% of Syrian refugee children are out of school. In Syria, the war reversed two decades of educational progress. One-third of schools are not having classes because they have been damaged, destroyed, or occupied by military groups or displaced people.
If you could see through a Syrian refugee child’s eyes, what would life look like? For them, kite flying keeps aloft memories of family, friends, and their once-promising future. The children salvage remnants of their war-shattered lives, even if it’s just with a dirty plastic bag that can barely stand up to the breeze.
SEMA US makes sure refugee communities and their hosts have access to healthcare and proper nutrition. We provide help for the psychological wounds they have suffered, and we reduce the risks of being abused, neglected, and exploited. We can help people live healthy lives, even while they wait for an opportunity to return home.
You can, too.
Learn more: www.sema-us.org