Children in Kilis, Turkey benefit from a new UMCOR-supported Child Friendly Space that serves children ages 5 to 12. The children will receive psychosocial care and education to help them deal with the anxieties of war.
By David Tereshchuk
October 17, 2013—Amid all the turbulence of the Middle East, the continuing violence in Syria increasingly sends waves of displaced people from their homes. They seek shelter within their own country, but more and more so, in neighboring countries.
The United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) is undertaking vital initiatives in support of Syria’s battered population. Among these is UMCOR’s work with implementing partner International Blue Crescent (IBC) to ease the plight of Syrian refugee children in Turkey.
In the two years of Syria’s vicious fighting, some 600,000 refugees have fled across that border, about three fourths of them being women and children. IBC is focusing its efforts on children in the refugee “city” of Kilis, technically a temporary reception center built mainly of steel shipping containers and located just three miles inside Turkey’s border with Syria.
Throughout the conflict, the harm inflicted on children’s education has been enormous—some 3,000 Syrian schools have been destroyed, and two million children have been robbed of their schooling—but, of course, every element of their upbringing has suffered too. The UMCOR/IBC efforts are designed to bring some remedy to that widespread damage.
Read the whole story.