6 resilient refugee children share their hopes and dreams

We’re facing a global refugee crisis. Right now, 60 million people have been forced to flee their homes as a result of conflict, disaster or other emergencies. Over half of these people are children.

More than half of the world’s 60 million refugee and displaced persons are children.

During times of instability, children can lose their parents or face possible separation from their families, and become vulnerable to abuse, neglect, exploitation, trafficking or forced military recruitment.

As a child rights organization, Plan International is responding directly to the needs of refugee children worldwide. Along with vital assistance, like food, water and shelter, we’re also providing children with the support they need to move past any trauma they’ve experienced, and ensuring they have access to safe, child-friendly spaces where they can learn, play and dream again.

SEE ALSO: Child-friendly spaces help refugee children be children

Experience the resilience, hopes and dreams of 6 refugee children from across the globe.

A girl holding a birth certificate.Oumou dreams of educating a nation

Conflict in northern Mali forced thousands, including 14-year-old Oumou and her family, to resettle in a new community within Mali, as internally displaced people.  Plan International is supporting children, like Oumou, by providing them with birth certificates – official documentation of their identities that help protect their rights – and helping them continue their education!  Oumou is able to go to school and continue working towards her dream of becoming the Minister of Education. 

Rachel dreams of fighting corruption

A girl holding a notebook.“I’d like to become finance minister after completing my studies, so I can fight corruption,” shared 12-year-old Rachel. “Corruption is holding back the growth of the nation and makes the children suffer.”

Despite her young age, Rachel’s already very perceptive and filled with determination to create change! At this child-friendly space in South Sudan, Plan International’s providing children with a safe, supportive environment that’ll foster their development, and in Rachel’s case, her bold ambitions.

Hawa dreams of protecting the innocent

For children affected by conflict, education is a powerful tool to A girl smiling inside a tent.help them cope with trauma, while helping them gain the knowledge and skills for a bright future. In this refugee camp in Burkina Faso, Plan International started offering classes to children like 13-year-old Hawa. And it’s no surprise that she and other kids have taken to these classes with enthusiasm!

“I put my heart and soul in my studies,” shared Hawa. “I want to become a lawyer and I will do my best to realize my dream.”

SEE ALSO: Education in emergencies: Why education can no longer wait

A young boy.Ibrahim dreams of curing the sick

Following intense fighting in Mali, Ibrahim and his family found refuge at a camp in Burkina Faso. Here, Plan International provided him with school supplies so that he could continue his education at the refugee camp.

“Plan International gave us notebooks, books, pens, pencils, t-shirts and nice school bags,” shared Ibrahim. “I think I will get the chance to become a pediatrician. All I love to do is take care of children, and when I grow up I want to be able to help sick children.”

A girl sitting in a classroom.Laial dreams of building a brighter future

9-year-old Laial and her family fled the ongoing conflict in Syria for neighbouring Egypt, where her family is doing their best to build a new life. Plan International is helping families with this process, and creating child-friendly spaces that provide children with a safe and fun place to continue their education.

“We come here and have a really nice time,” said Laial of the child-friendly space. “I come here with my friends, play with toys and we draw. We feel happy…I hope I’ll be an engineer when I grow up.”

A girls standing by a railroad track.Selam dreams of a new home

As the situation in Syria has continued to deteriorate, families like 10-year-old Selam’s family, are risking everything to reach Europe. By boat and by foot, Syrians are crossing seas, rivers and borders in search of peace and a new home.

For Selam, her final destination is Sweden and ahead of her arrival there, she shared a sentence that she’s been practicing over and over again: “I love Sweden.” Filled with hope, Selam is eager to find safety and return to school, and become a nurse one day.

Like the world’s 60 million displaced people, Selam is looking forward to putting the past behind her and moving on.


Support refugee children & #HelpThemDreamAgain

Every child has the right to a childhood filled with learning, playing and dreaming. And yet, millions of refugee children are losing out on this right every day. Join Plan International and the Humanitarian Coalition in making a difference in the lives of refugee children and families.

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