Report from World Vision says children facing increased risk of violence, abuse and child marriages
MISSISSAUGA, ON, March 11, 2014 /CNW/ - Stress, physical beatings and psychological problems are just some of the issues facing Syrian refugee children in Jordan and Lebanon, according to a new report released today by World Vision. The global humanitarian agency asked 140 Syrian refugee children who have sought sanctuary in the two countries to describe their new lives and outline how they would solve the Syrian conflict, which is now entering its fourth year with no end in sight.
The report, which is written in the children's own words, describes the stress they face due to their parents' lack of money and poor living conditions. More than 85 per cent of the children interviewed say they've experienced violence, while others speak of child marriages or of Syrian refugee children forced to beg to support their families. Despite this, the children in the report try to remain optimistic about their futures and their desire to return to Syria to rebuild the country.
"If I had the opportunity to address people around the world, I would say: 'Haven't you had enough of the destruction in Syria? What else do you still need, to save us and bring us back to our country?'" - Hanadi, 17
"Bombs were falling all around our house in Syria, and we were forced to leave without bringing any of our identity papers, including a school attestation to allow me to carry on with my studies in Lebanon." - Ibrahim, 16
"If I could, I would rebuild my country Syria. I would put back the smile on its face, without a drop of hatred or oppression, keeping the smiles and joy in the hearts of the innocent children who haven't experienced anything in this life except fear, horror, hunger and displacement." - Hasan, 16
- 83 per cent of child participants say they'd take on an active role in efforts to help Syrian refugees;
- The Government of Canada has contributed more than $353 million to humanitarian relief in the Syrian crisis, including $50 million to support #NoLostGeneration, an initiative of World Vision, UNICEF and other NGOs; and
- Canadians who wish to support World Vision's relief efforts in Syria can contribute through our Syrian Refugee Crisis Fund or our Raw Hope program. Please visit www.worldvision.ca for more details.
World Vision is a Christian relief, development and advocacy organization dedicated to working with children, families and communities to overcome poverty and injustice. World Vision serves all people regardless of religion, race, ethnicity or gender. Visit our News Centre at worldvision.ca
SOURCE: World Vision Canada
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