Syrian refugee children at risk of becoming a lost generation, new UN report alerts

 

A new UNHCR – the UN Refugee Agency - report on the Syrian crisis sheds light on the plights and challenges faced by the 1.1 million Syrian refugee children, who constitute half the total number of registered Syrian refugees.


VIENNA, December 2013 – The UNHCR released last week its new report on the Syrian refugee situation – “The Future of Syria: Refugee Children in Crisis”, detailing the acute crisis situation and the plight of thousands of refugee children affected by the conflict in Syria. The bulk of these refugee children are currently living in camps in Lebanon and Jordan, where more than 60% of the total of Syrian refugees are located.

RED NOSES International sees the situation of these children and their families and relatives with great concern. In fact, in times of conflict children are one of the most vulnerable and most affected groups. As mentioned in the report, Syrian refugee children have endured tremendous trauma, physical and psychological wounds which can last a lifetime. They have experienced and/or witnessed violence, suffered the pressures of displacement and of the dramatic change of their environment and lifestyle. They have lost everything they knew and many live in fear and isolation.

With their childhood “stolen”, these Syrian refugees had their dreams shattered and their happy memories are associated with a reality that no longer exists. Therefore, there is a desperate need for psychological support and to provide these children with coping strategies that can help them to deal with and face their current and painful reality.

RED NOSES International believes that clown work can greatly help these children to overcome distress and trauma, providing them with tools to cope with the situation they are in. Clown work offers a certain sense of “normalcy” in abnormal situations and provides them with a platform to exhort/express their fears, insecurities and concerns.

This has proven to be the case for example during a RED NOSES intervention in one of the refugee camps from the Kosovo war. The benefits of clown work have also been recognised by the UNHCR in the aftermath of the war in Iraq and by the punctual interventions of our colleagues “Clowns without Borders” during the Syrian crisis.

One can also not forget the impact that this influx of refugees is having in the local social fabric. In fact thought must also been given to these communities who should not be forgotten and whose psychological well-being must also be addressed.

In the short term we hope RED NOSES International can also contribute to relieve this distressed population by implementing our expertise in hospital clowning.


Washington Post
http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/clowns-help-syrian-camp-children-smile-for-moment/2013/12/01/d37969b0-5ab3-11e3-801f-1f90bf692c9b_story.html

UNHCR
http://unhcr.org/FutureOfSyria/


Pictures show the RED NOSES intervention in one of the refugee camps during the Kosovo war in 1999.

 

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