Friday, 19 Jun 2015

Far from home: reaching refugee children

Dangerous and unstable living conditions place refugee children at extreme risk of illness, malnourishment, abuse and exploitation; living in strange and overcrowded camps, within economically-deprived families, makes them especially vulnerable to mistreatment. Thousands are unable to access education. Neglect and violence are constant threats and girls may marry very early as desperate parents seek to protect them from molestation.

Millions of refugee children need a safe, protective environment, a chance to play and go to school.

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Some 450,000 Palestinian refugees are registered with the UN in Lebanon, with many living in the country’s 12 refugee camps.

As the conflict in Syria continues, millions of new refugees are being created. As of November 2014, 10.9 million Syrians were displaced within and outside Syria, including over 3.3 million refugees across Jordan, Iraq, Lebanon,Turkey and Egypt. Lebanon hosts almost 1.15 million – of which 465,000 are children. They join the more than 50,000 Palestinian children already in residence.

The UNHCR says no country in living memory has taken in as many refugees in proportion to its size.

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Our latest member Naba’a, is a pioneering organisation working on child protection within refugee camps in Lebanon. It was established to implement community-based projects in six Palestinian camps – home to more than 130,000 people – as well as marginalized villages across Lebanon. Through activities, workshops and projects on the ground, Naba’a reaches 8,000 refugee children a year, many the victims of physical, mental and sexual abuse.

Naba’a works to empower local communities so that they can uphold the rights of children and young people; enabling them to play an active and healthy role within their society. In recognition of the unstable nature of the region, Naba’a also provides emergency response services, to meet the basic physical needs of a community in crisis.

“We aim to create an environment in which children and young people can develop and live in harmony, regardless of their religion, sex and nationality.”

The addition of this dynamic organisation enables Family to reach thousands more vulnerable children and families and amplifies our expertise to do so in one of the most challenging and dangerous contexts in the world today.

#RefugeeWeek
#WorldRefugeeDay

Further reading:
Read more on Naba’a
http://www.unrwa.org/where-we-work/lebanon
http://www.unicef.org/appeals/syrianrefugees.html#sthash.7ZanGOte.dpuf

Member: Naba’a      Topic: Child Protection, Childrens Rights, Schooling      Country: Lebanon