Save the Children’s president & CEO, Carolyn Miles, met with mothers and newborn children who have sought refuge from the conflict in Syria this week at Za’atari camp in Jordan.
Her visit follows the release of “Childhood Under Fire,” a report by Save the Children warning of the dangers for Syrian children two years after the start of the conflict.
Samantha Cameron, wife of UK Prime Minister David Cameron, also visited Save the Children’s programs for Syrian refugees this week, in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley.
“Kids who have been through trauma really need to get into some kind of normal, something they are used to doing, like going to kindergarten, or going to pre-schools, so that’s one of the reasons that we run these programs in the camps,” Miles told the Associated Press after meeting with Syrian children in a nursery.
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Save the Children has established child-friendly spaces and education programs in Za’atari to help children regain a sense of normalcy.
Miles is also grateful for the support of Britain’s first lady, Samantha Cameron, who met with women and children yesterday in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley, where Save the Children is supporting local health centers and has established centers to help children cope with the effects of the conflict.
“Samantha Cameron’s support, as a Save the Children ambassador, helps draw attention to the plight of children, caught up in this terrifying conflict. Without more help, and quickly, we risk losing a generation of Syria’s children,” said Miles.
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Samantha Cameron spoke to children who had witnessed the violent deaths of their parents and siblings, mothers whose children had been killed by snipers and families who had been forced to flee their homes under gunfire with little more than the clothes on their backs. Families have experienced terrible violence and are now living in flimsy shelters with limited access to food, water and medicine.
Mrs. Cameron said, “As a mother, it is horrifying to hear the harrowing stories from the children I met today, no child should ever experience what they have.”
Carolyn Miles will be meeting with technical advisers for the UN Security Council in early April to shed light on the dire situation facing Syrian children, both inside and outside of Syria, and what humanitarian agencies are doing to meet their needs.
Save the Children is appealing for funds to help its response in Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and Jordan where it is delivering food, warm clothes, blankets, providing education and helping children recover from their experiences.
Save the Children is a leading independent organization for children in need, with programs in 120 countries, including the United States.