Child Refugee Crisis

by Save the Children Federation
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Child Refugee Crisis
Child Refugee Crisis
Child Refugee Crisis
Child Refugee Crisis
Child Refugee Crisis
Child Refugee Crisis
Child Refugee Crisis
Child Refugee Crisis
Child Refugee Crisis
Child Refugee Crisis
Child Refugee Crisis
A 3rd grade teacher in Turkana Central sub-county.
A 3rd grade teacher in Turkana Central sub-county.

Four million refugee children around the world are out of school – missing out on their right to an education due to displacement, poverty and exclusion. For refugee children who are in school, teachers matter more than any single factor and serve on the frontline in delivering on the world’s promise to provide all refugee children with a quality education, according to our report on Getting Refugee Children Back to Learning.

Hear it from the Teachers” sheds light why the education of refugee children matters, as well as the greatest challenges teachers face in doing their jobs to support the ability of refugee children to recover, learn and thrive.

“Education is a lifeline for refugee children – it helps them cope better with their current situations while fostering hopes for the future,” Carolyn Miles, President & CEO of Save the Children said. “That’s why investing in teachers should be the highest priority if we are to achieve our aim of providing quality education to all refugee children.”

Without an education, teachers fear that the outlook for refugee children is bleak. The report findings make clear that refugee education provides children with hope for the future, helps them start to feel safe and recover from trauma, and leads to greater peace and stability.

“Education is essential for children. It's like the difference between light and darkness. Without knowledge, their options are limited. School is participation and joy. Children open up to the world and think of their responsibilities. Education is very important because we need a generation equipped with knowledge. That's strength,” Mahmoud al-Salem, a Syrian early childhood care and development teacher in Lebanon said.

In completing the report, Save the Children interviewed 28 teachers and facilitators from refugee and host communities in Bangladesh, Lebanon and Uganda. According to those interviewed, their ability to support refugee children’s learning and recovery is often thwarted by four key issues:

  • Refugee children’s psychosocial well-being
  • Their struggle to learn the new language of instruction
  • The limited capacity of the most marginalized children to catch up and start learning without targeted support
  • The lack of professional development and support teachers receive to meet refugee children’s distinct needs in these respects

Save the Children teachers recognize the need to provide refugee students with targeted psychosocial and language support, and for marginalized children to access learning. Because refugee children face distinct issues, the teachers called on host governments, agencies and the international community to do everything possible to support teachers to ensure refugee children thrive in their classrooms, and the most marginalized return to learning.

Teachers are our biggest allies and our biggest assets in the effort to return every refugee child to learning.

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A portrait of Laila* at Leda Camp, Bangladesh
A portrait of Laila* at Leda Camp, Bangladesh

Story of the Month

Laila* lives with her mother Halima Khatum* and father in the Rohingya refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. 

Laila was admitted to a Save the Children nutrition centre in May 2018, when she was found to be suffering from Moderate Acute Malnutrition (MAM). She had caught fever and diarrhoea on the journey from Myanmar to Bangladesh and lost a lot of weight, only weighing 6.8kg for her 74.3cm height.

With Save the Children’s support, Laila is gaining weight and becoming healthy again. After a month with Save the Children, Laila now weighs 7.3kg. Save the Children has also helped Laila’s family through digging a tube well near her home, setting up clean toilets near her home, and providing her parents with a hygiene kit. 

Halima Kahtum said: “Save the Children is now giving me special peanut paste to give to my daughter, to make her healthy again. We are getting free medical treatment and medicine from the Save the Children clinic."

Since August 2017, 688,000 Rohingya children and families have fled to Bangladesh following a rapid and alarming escalation of violence in northern Rakhine State, Myanmar. Save the Children is working around the clock to ensure Rohingya children and their families are supported in their basic human rights. We run more than 180 child-friendly spaces and centers which support Rohingya children’s learning and well-being. We are distributing food, shelter items and hygiene and household kits as well as digging latrines and handing out warm clothes and blankets for the cold winter months. Save the Children has reached more than 624,000 people including nearly 350,000 children.

Thanks to compassionate people like you, Save the Children is there, on the ground every day, working to provide essentials – like food and safety – to children trying to survive these extreme conditions. We're working nonstop to ensure children are safe, cared for and learning. Learn more and support our work here. Thank you! 

*Names have been changed for privacy. 

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Childhood should be a time defined by words like: playground, family, school and innocence.

However, more children around the world than ever before – at least 357 million children – are living, some just barely, in areas affected by conflict. Child refugees live in constant fear, uncertainly and instability.

The conflicts taking place in countries like Syria, South Sudan, Uganda, and Bangladesh have turned over 10 million children’s homes into darkened memories. Violence has become a way of life for them, while persecution makes these children especially vulnerable. Recent attacks in Syria have forced many families to flee, leaving even more children with no place to call home.

Conflict is redefining childhood. Read the report by Save the children, The War on Children, now.

Thanks to compassionate people like you, Save the Children is there, on the ground every day, working to provide essentials – like food and safety – to children trying to survive these extreme conditions.

Help us do whatever it takes to end the war on childhood. We’re working nonstop to ensure children are safe, cared for and learning. Learn more and support our work here.

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Home for Children on the Move
Home for Children on the Move

Childhood should be a time defined by words like: playground, family, school and innocence.

However, more children around the world than ever before – at least 357 million children – are living, some just barely, in areas affected by conflict. That’s more than the entire U.S. population! Read the new report by Save the Children, The War on Children now.

Globally, nearly 1 in 6 children are experiencing childhoods re-defined – by words like: starving, maiming, violence and war.

And nearly half of these children live in the most dangerous areas of all to be a child – those affected by high-intensity war and conflict, including Syria, Afghanistan and Somalia. In these and other war-torn countries, children are imminently vulnerable to starvation, injury, exploitation and even death.

Thanks to compassionate people like you, Save the Children is there, on the ground every day, working to provide essentials – like food and safety – to children trying to survive these extreme conditions.

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More Than 3,000 Syrian Refugee Children in Lebanon Face Eviction from Homes Ahead Of Winter

6,000 Syrian refugees, including an estimated 3,200 children, living on the outskirts of Beirut face eviction from homes ahead of Winter.

In recent weeks, the refugees, who have been living in rented private accommodations were given eviction notices by the local authorities and told they must leave their home in just 10 days.

So far, at least 28 families have already had to leave and many still haven’t found an alternative place to stay. Those who have stayed are appealing the decision but many are facing increasing pressure to leave and fear they will be thrown out onto the streets in the coming days.

Tarek,* a resident who has been given an eviction notice said: “We were told to leave because Syrians were not welcome in the area. I had to move out before I got kicked out. I couldn’t imagine being forced to leave in the middle of the night like others were, so I saved my dignity and left with my wife.

“My 11-month-old baby was in the hospital receiving treatment at the time. I have also lost my job as a result. The situation is very desperate. I am worried about my family. I am not sure how we will get by."

The evictions are the first to hit the area but come amid growing calls for Syrian refugees to return to Syria, and follow on from various reports of evictions elsewhere in Lebanon.

The evictions risk putting extremely vulnerable children in further danger, as families now face ending up on the streets as the harsh winter approaches. The evictions will also force many children to drop out of school, and are likely to severely affect their physical and psychological wellbeing.

“These evictions are having an unimaginable toll on very vulnerable children who have already been uprooted from their homes at least once, suffered through war and extreme violence and now face the trauma of losing their homes once again,” said Allison Zelkowitz, Save the Children’s Country Director in Lebanon.

“If the evictions are not halted, these children could become destitute and homeless and risk losing what little sense of safety and normality they have had.

Since the outbreak of the war in Syria, Lebanon has taken in more than 1 million registered refugees, who now make up some 25 to 30 percent of the total population. 

Many of the children in al-Hadath have managed to enrol at schools in the area, however after being evicted they may face challenges finding new places. Many schools in Lebanon are full, and across the country nearly half a million Syrian refugee children are out of school.

Save the Children has worked in Lebanon since 1953. Last year we supported nearly 400,000 people – including 225,000 children – by providing education, shelter, child protection, and projects to improve families’ livelihoods and children’s rights.  As the evictions go ahead, Save the Children is preparing to provide financial support to evicted families to help them meet their children’s most critical needs.

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Save the Children Federation

Location: Fairfield, CT - USA
Website:
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Twitter: @savethechildren
Project Leader:
Lisa Smith
Fairfield, CT United States
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