Aid Worker Urges Kiwis to Support the Children of War
Tear Fund Aid Worker Urges Kiwis to Support the Children of War
On the eve of the fourth anniversary of the Syrian crisis, TEAR Fund programmes officer and Middle East expert Kevin Riddell is urging Kiwis to continue providing much-needed aid to the region to ensure a brighter future for the children growing up amidst this conflict.
“The violence in the region is only escalating, in complete disregard of calls made to stop the cycle of bloodshed. In four years the situation has only gotten worse for innocent civilians caught in the middle of this conflict. It is estimated that more than 12 million people in Syria and neighbouring regions are in need of urgent humanitarian assistance. We cannot stand by and wait for a diplomatic solution to be found, we must help people despite the dangers we face,” says Mr Riddell.
Many children have lost months, if not years of education, couple that with ongoing trauma of fleeing home and seeing loved ones killed, what we have on our hands is a generation of children growing up without any support structures.”
TEAR Fund is working with its partners in Lebanon and Iraq to provide emergency aid to displaced families, to help re-integrate refugee children into a schooling environment and provide psychological support to kids suffering trauma.
A Syrian refugee displaced in Lebanon, Zarina says “It’s very difficult to describe what our children’s lives were like fleeing from the war and coming here. We wanted them to be able to go to school to at least remember what they knew before. Last year my son didn’t remember a thing. Thanks to the schooling he is receiving now, he was able to return to the level he was before. Psychologically, the children really changed after starting at the school.”
In Lebanon, TEAR Fund is working in refugee camps, providing emergency food and hygiene packages. TEAR Fund is also providing pre-schooling and trauma care services.
In Iraq, TEAR Fund is partnering with an organisation responsible for the protection of children in IDP camps. TEAR Fund is offering children services to counsel them through the trauma they have experienced.
To give to TEAR Fund’s Emergency Disaster Appeal for the Syrian Refugees, Kiwis can visittearfund.org.nz or phone 0800 800 777.