Try to imagine back to when you were in elementary school. Most children are happy living without major troubles, or at least children in the United States. Many do not have much to worry about. Most American children are going to school and are living stress-free lives. They are enjoying themselves, playing outside with their friends or playing video games, but the same could not be said for the children of Syria.
Millions on children have been affected by the conflict going on Syria for past three years, 6.5 million, to be exact. Over 2.8 million children are no longer attending school and more then one million are refugees in nearby countries. They no longer live their normal stress-free lives; they do not have “normal” childhoods.
Many Syrian children have endured horrible health issues due to poor sanitation and many are also malnourished. Many also face diseases such as measles and polio due to lack of proper immunizations.
Parents often turn to marrying their daughters off at early ages, as early as 13 years old, so that they do not get molested. Syrian refugee children are more vulnerable to rape and other acts of sexual violence.
In Syria, three million children no longer attend school, mostly because their schools have been destroyed, teachers have left and families are now using schools as homes. Other children quit school to work so that they could help make income to support their families.
The Lebanese government has been trying to help by setting up schools for child refugees but there have been problems such as overcrowding, language barriers and cost of transportation.
UNICEF has been helping since day one and partnering up with others to help. The organization has also immunized more than 20 million children when there was a polio breakout, supplied safe drinking water and provided psychological support.
Save The Children is another organization that has been getting involved and helping child refugees. Anyone could help through UNICEF or Save the Children. Just remember that you would not your children having to go through such horrible living conditions on a day-to-day basis.
– Priscilla Rodarte