Save the Children Federation

Save the Children is the world's leading independent organization for children. Our vision is a world in which every child attains the right to survival, protection, development and participation. Our mission is to inspire breakthroughs in the way the world treats children and to achieve immediate and lasting change in their lives.
Jan 23, 2014

Surviving the Winter in a Refugee Camp

Children like Salim* need your help
Children like Salim* need your help

In the midst of a bitter winter, Salim*, age 2, tries to stay warm at a refugee camp near the Syrian border. With temperatures nearing sub-zero, Salim will face this brutal winter in a snow covered tent with only the clothes on her back to keep warm.

The cold days are long, but the nights are always longer for Salim. When the sun goes down, the temperature drops, and she can feel the freezing air against her cheeks. She shivers to keep her body warm but with no blanket she has nothing to protect her from the cold air breezing through the tent. She is one of many children fighting to survive the winter in a refugee camp, and as the conditions turn treacherous, she is in desperate need of warm clothes, blankets and food.

Already refugee camps in neighboring countries have been buried by early snow storms, a warning to the residents of the harsh winter ahead. With conditions set to get worse over the coming months, refugees are continuing to flee Syria, increasing the demand for supplies. Children are the most vulnerable in refugee camps. They have been taken away from their homes, schools, friends and families, and have been forced to start new lives in strange environments.

Save the Children has been distributing kits containing winter clothing, blankets and items to reinforce shelters to help prepare families for the winter in Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq, and will continue to provide support to them over the winter.

Save the Children is also on the ground year round providing the basics children need, like food and blankets and offering programs to help them cope with tragedy. We have also established temporary learning centers where children can continue their education in safe and quality learning centers.

With your help children like Salim can get the supplies she needs to survive the winter, receive an education and learn to be a kid again.

*Children's names have been changed to protect their identity given the sensitive context.

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Jan 23, 2014

Final Report on Cyclone Phailin Relief

Basu Das and family in front of their damaged home
Basu Das and family in front of their damaged home

Picking up the pieces in the aftermath of Cyclone Phailin

Basu Das, 50, is the village head of K Badapur village, which is located about 20 miles from Berhampur, Odisha. It is a small hamlet, consisting of 26 households. Most people in the village depend either on fishing or ‘Kiya’ plantation, an aromatic plant that grows abundantly along coastal Odisha and is used in manufacturing perfumes and incense sticks.

Basu Das lost his home to Cyclone Phailin, and is currently taking shelter in a community shelter with another family. Though his wife and two sons survived the cyclone, the damage it has caused is irreparable.

“We were informed to evacuate the village. We took shelter in a college nearby on the night of October 11th. We returned two days later, only to discover our house was completely destroyed. We had to dig out some of our belongings from under the debris,” he said.

His two sons attend the nearby government primary school. Fortunately, the school did not suffer any damage. The family has received some rations from the government, but it was not enough to sustain them for more than a month.

Drinking water is a major concern in Badapur village. According to Bhikari Das, ward member of the Panchayat), people walk 2 miles, two-three times every day to fetch water from the next village, Kattur.

The village has a pond where people bathe and wash their clothes. The water is filthy and the uprooted trees lying in close proximity make it difficult for villagers to use it. Some of them have even caught skin infection.

That’s why Save the Children distributed essential supplies to Basu Das’s family and thousands more children and families affected by Cyclone Phailin. Hygiene items, household supplies and food baskets have been distributed to stave off malnutrition and disease.  

We continue our response to help children and families affected by the devastating cyclone. Thank you again for your support.

Links:

Dec 19, 2013

Ahmed's Recovery from Severe Acute Malnutrition

Hawi holds her now healthy nephew Ahmed Habib
Hawi holds her now healthy nephew Ahmed Habib

Hawi brought her nephew Ahmed to the Asayita hospital for treatment for severe acute malnutrition. They live in a small rural village in Afar region. Ahmed, two years and four months old, has been in the stabilization center for the past eight days. Ahmed’s mother has just given birth to another child and his father has passed away so his aunt and his grandmother brought him to the hospital on a Save the Children project vehicle from where they live. He is now making progress and is ready for release.

Hawi’s story in her own words

“My name is Hawi. I am Ahmed’s aunt. Ahmed was severely suffering of an illness and was getting weak as days went by. We were referred to come to the Asayita hospital after being assessed at the OTP center in Mamule health post.

Ahmed is now two years and four months old. His mother is at home after having given birth to another child. As she couldn’t accompany him, and is recovering from the delivery, we [myself and his grandmother] brought him here. We came for medication and treatment for Ahmed but also received money, (80 birr/day) which totals 640 birr (USD $36). This has helped us with expenses for ourselves while we stay in Asayita, away from our home.

Ahmed’s father passed away in a car accident while his wife was still pregnant. Their first daughter also passed away very shortly after becoming sick one night. Ahmed didn’t start eating when he reached the age that he was supposed to. He gets sick very often and does not have a good appetite. He doesn’t eat normally. Now, his health condition has been improving as they are constantly giving him nutritious milk [F75] and medication.

We commonly eat mufe [made with corn flour that is baked under-ground like bread]. We used to have a farm before we moved to our village but we had to sell that and our animals to come here to start a better life. Now we buy corn from other farmers for our consumption. We get water from a nearby river. Luckily, it passes by close to our home. There are other people that come from very faraway places to get to this river.

I hope we won’t get hungry. We [women] usually try and go back to corn-harvested farms and pick the remaining shoots of corn that can be collected and sold. This is an extra income for us to support our families.

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