More than half of the world’s refugees are children and the fate of these migrant children are often ambiguous and unknown once they fleed to neighbouring countries. While many of them travel with their caregivers, there is still a significant amount of orphaned children who flee the conflict alone and are left forgotten.
The desperation to leave a war-torn country and the desire to build a better life encourages one to take that leap of faith but there are dire consequences that come with migration. The most obvious one being the exposure to negative mental health effects, especially seen amongst children.
They often have no say or influence in the matter, more so when they are separated from their caregivers and have no one to rely on. As a result of the complicated situation, these vulnerable children experience toxic stress, which can have lifelong negative health effects. Millions of these children are also prone to abuse, exploitation, child marriages and human trafficking, amongst others.
In Syria itself, over 70,000 refugee families are living without a father figure – leaving them with no option but to reside in “Widow & Orphan Camps” across northwest Syria to seek protection and shelter.
Unfortunately, the situation isn’t any better there and life for them is still far from easy.
Children are being forced to grow up quickly and most girls get married off from the age of 14. Boys over the age of 11 are considered adult men by the community and are kicked out of the camps with no place to live, no prospect of employment and no future. Hence, they are particularly at risk of being recruited into armed groups and later radicalised. A report by World Vision International also states that 35% of the children there experienced several forms of violence.
The ongoing war and persecution aggravates the humanitarian crisis and causes more children to be orphaned as they suffer the deadly consequences. That is the heart-breaking reality.
But we can play our part to ease the situation of these orphaned children and their families. Many young refugee children are usually denied their rights to education and you can help transform their lives by providing them with an educational opportunity to open their hearts to dream about the future.
Global Ehsan Relief’s Orphan Sponsorship is a long-term programme where you get to care for the welfare of orphans around the world – refugees included. Through this program, we hope to empower them through education so that they can lead independent lives! Not only that, you will be making sure that they receive sufficient support and resources in order to meet their social and financial needs.
Let’s protect our orphaned refugee children from violent conflict that’s not of their making.