Right now, there are more than 60 million displaced people around the world – half of them are children.
Children are most vulnerable in times of crisis because they face possible separation from their families, abuse, neglect, exploitation, trafficking or forced military recruitment. In addition, they are often deprived of their rights to education.
Here at Plan International Canada, children are at the heart of everything we do and that’s why we’re working to change the story for refugee children and provide them the opportunities they deserve in order to be happy, healthy and enjoy an overall brighter future.
2.5 million Syrian refugees, of whom almost 50 per cent are children, live in Turkey. Plan International and partner organization The Mother Child Education Foundation, are running a summer pre-school program that prepares children for the start of their education in Turkish. It provides a space for children to learn, play, and interact with others in a safe and peaceful environment, as well as a means for mothers to find out about the community resources and public services.
Burundian children play at one of Plan International’s child friendly spaces in Nyarugusu Refugee Camp, Tanzania. Plan International Tanzania runs seven child-friendly spaces in the camp where children can play, learn and access emotional support. Plan International is also working to increase child protection, and prevent gender-based violence in all Burundi refugee camps across the country.
Storytelling has always been an important part of Ethiopian culture, but refugee life has a way of threatening even the most ingrained of traditions. In December 2016, a pilot initiative called We Love Reading was setup alongside Plan International Ethiopia’s partner organization UNHCR. Volunteers have been given books and trained to deliver sessions in reading and illustration. Reading circles and community libraries have also been established.
Oumou, 14 is a bright 8th grade student from Timbuktu. Through Plan International’s initiative in Mali, 3,500 children received birth certificates, including Oumou. Without a birth certificate, children in Mali do not have a legal identity and are vulnerable to trafficking, child labour and underage marriage as they do not legally exist and have no proof of their age.
Plan International is working alongside the European Union Humanitarian Aid and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) to help refugee children from South Sudan access safe and quality education. 15 Early Childhood Care and Development Centres for 0-6 year olds have been opened, to ensure that vulnerable refugee children get effective early childhood care and support to develop, enroll in primary school, play and learn.
Help refugee children worldwide
With your support we can reach displaced children and help provide access to quality education, sanitation, safe and child-friendly recreational activities, and psychosocial support to the children and families who need it most.
Help refugee children today