Many of us know that life can be hard, but most of our experiences cannot even begin compare to what over eleven million people — half of whom are children — have been experiencing as they are displaced from their homes, villages and country.
The Syrian Refugee Crisis started in 2011, when thousands of terrified families tried to relocate to neighboring countries. Unfortunately, many were sent back or forced to live in refugee camps next to the border, many not even 300 meters from safety and the promise of a new life. In these camps the living conditions are terrible. There are often no sources of heat, no toilets, or even a place to wash their hands.
At many camps, there are no schools, so children aren’t occupied. Because of this, children are often lost, kidnapped or sexually abused. Parents are so terrified that their daughters will be molested that they will marry them off as young as thirteen.
Because of the overcrowded conditions at the border camps, children are more susceptible to diseases, malnourishment and exploitation. Turkey is taking on the largest amount of refugees at 1.9 million. Lebanon is hosting 1.2 million refugees — about one in every five Syrians.
One in two Syrians are displaced from their homes and forced to move both inside and outside of their country . When they move away from their homes, they are thrust into a violent and dangerous world. They could die on their way to another country seeking asylum, or be shot in a battle or skirmish when they are in their own country. Many countries with enough funding and space to cope with new populace refuse to take in any refugees. South Korea, Saudi Arabia, and Russia are a few. More than 80% of the refugees in Jordan are below the poverty line. They earn about $13 a month, living on less than a dollar a day.
Many European countries do not offer public schools, so the children in these families don’t get to have the chance of an education. Between 2.1 and 2.4 million school-age children aren’t getting the education they deserve. Without an education, their chances of thriving dwindle. When children don’t know what they need to, they cannot get the higher paying jobs that could help them get a better life.
President Obama has said the U.S. will accept 10,000 refugees in the next year–an improvement over the 1,500 refugees allowed in over the last four years.
By: Eilidh MacDonald