In a collection of drawings taped neatly to the wall, my eyes won’t leave a mom rendered in pink, right in the center of the bottom row. Her frown is drawn in a tidy, down-turned crescent. Around her, children drawn in green look shell-shocked—their drawn in mouths a silent green dot. In the midst of smiles, a picture of trauma.
So many of the children we serve lost someone they love to war. Dads. Moms. Brothers and sisters. Cousins that were more like siblings. Best friends. They all lost social circles—being known and appreciated for who they are.
For children of all ages, this kind of loss is devastating. In the midst of trauma that comes with war and displacement, the quiet pain of the children in our lives can go unnoticed. When their current circumstances say, “You’ll never be safe, you’re on your own,” children need healing bridges to the wider world and their future.
You can provide that.
There are so many benefits to keeping kids displaced by war in school:
- Learning fluency in the local language, which gives them a sense of belonging in their host community, and opens up a wide range of opportunities they would miss out on if they don’t understand what’s spoken around them.
- Exam prep and tutoring, for those who need extra help absorbing what is taught in their classrooms, and remedial help for those who missed too many years of school to return.
- Keeping boys in school, which gives them skills and options for their future beyond the lowest-paying, most dangerous work.
- English language skills, to give them a boost for their in-school language classes, as well as opening the wider world.
Every element that helps children to connect the dots in their learning is important. But there is one more level of care which is essential.
Kids need to know they are beloved by a wider circle than they see at home. They need to experience, in tangible ways, that there is a community who is for them, cheering them on.In one of the refugee camps where you are investing in the well-being of children, 233 children were assisted by the Child Protection Unit so far this year. Children who have exhibited symptoms of self-harm, have health problems, special needs, are not attending school, or are particularly traumatized, or in poverty have received the help that they need to be well.
We invite you to be part of helping children displaced by war become well.
Through these larger circles of connection, children can see themselves beyond their current pain, as part of the wider community, and can imagine themselves as part of the solution for their countries.
This is what your donations can provide.
Mohammad is a 12-year-old boy from Syria. He lives in a refugee camp in Iraq with his grandparents, uncles, and siblings. Mohammad has been a refugee for half his young life. During the summer holiday, he sometimes helps his family by selling vegetables in the camp.
“I love my country Syria. I wish I could go back. We came here as refugees and life here is different and more difficult from our life in Syria. I have more friends in Syria.”
At the center in his refugee camp, you provide a loving, encouraging space for Mohammad to grow in skills, but also in relationships.
“I like the center and I visit every single day. I draw, play games, play football and make crafts. I am making a lot of friends here.”
At a summer day camp for displaced Yazidi children, little ones got to experience the kind of fun and caring that probably seems quite normal for you. But when you grow up in a minority group that’s misunderstood by the majority… you can’t ever take community for granted.
Games and crafts, songs and lessons in English served as fun ways to boost the kids’ basic educational skills. But the real magic of the day camp was the way the kids were celebrated.
Each child was seen as valuable and worthy. Each was seen for their own unique skills and talents. They were challenged and encouraged, and at the end of camp, they were celebrated by teachers and helpers who love them.
For children who had to flee the place they were born, and have no idea when or if they’ll be able to return… you made it possible for a loving wider community to surround them and show them their worth.
We need your help to make sure that children displaced by war don’t get left behind, yes. But more than that, we invite you to invest in children who long to see a wider, loving community that is tangibly for them.