Back in June I wrote about the war in Syria and the horror that children are witnessing there.
Four months on and every day in Syria’s brutal war, children are still seeing and experiencing the most unspeakable atrocities.
There must be more we can do?!
Save the Children are busy working in the refugee camps and communities that are now home to thousands of children and their families fleeing the escalating violence.
They have spoken to children and their parents, and have heard their stories.
Now they have published a report, the product of those interviews. It is filled with the testimonies of children who have seen and suffered senseless acts of torture and violence.They have been shelled and shot at, and seen their loved ones killed. Here they tell of what they have seen in their own words.
Surely it is a call to action?
There must be something we can do?
I am a mother and I would do anything to keep my children from harm. Surely all mothers should do all they can to keep all children from harm, and if we cannot do that we should do all we can to ensure that those who do harm children are brought to justice.
“World leaders have watched this now for over a year and a half. It is time for action. I feel as though Syria is fading away because of this inhumanity.” Raed, father.
We must stand together and show the mothers, fathers and children of Syria that we can still see them and we will help their voices be heard.
Save the Children are lighting the path and leading our way. Please come with us if you can.
Save the Children is working to help children come to terms with the devastating psychological impact of their experiences, providing specialist support to children showing signs of distress, including self-harm, nightmares and bedwetting.
The aid agency is also calling for the UN to step up its documentation of all violations of children’s rights in Syria and that it should have more resources to do this, so that crimes against children are not committed with impunity.
The charity is today releasing Untold Atrocities, a collection of first-hand accounts of the conflict from children and parents receiving help from Save the Children after fleeing Syria. The accounts contain graphic details of how children have been caught up in Syria’s war – witnessing massacres and in some cases, experiencing torture.
• “Dead bodies along with injured people were scattered all over the ground. I found body parts all over each other. Dogs were eating the dead bodies for two days after the massacre.” Hassan, 14
• “This six year old boy was tortured more than anyone else in that room. He only survived for three days and then he simply died.” Wael, 16
• “They hung me from the ceiling by my wrists, with my feet off the ground. Then I was beaten.” Khalid, 15.
• “There was nothing that they did not use to hurt us.” Nur, 9.
Save the Children has been refused permission to access Syria to help more children, but much of the children’s testimony corroborates violations documented by the United Nations and human rights organisations in recent months.
The aid agency is providing specialist help to children to recover from their experiences. Some have started self-harming as they struggle to come to terms with what they have been through, while others are suffering from nightmares, bedwetting, and depression.
Justin Forsyth, Save the Children’s chief executive has just returned from Jordan where he met children who have suffered horrific experiences. He said “No child should ever see the horrors being described on a daily basis to our staff on the ground – stories of torture, murder and terror. They need specialist emotional support to come to terms with these shocking experiences, and their stories need to be heard and documented so those responsible for these appalling crimes against children can be held to account.”
Save the Children is on the ground on Syria’s borders, providing emotional support to thousands of children who have fled to neighbouring countries, helping them recover from their experiences and rebuild their lives. The agency has launched an appeal to help fund its work in the region.
You can help Save the Children save the children of Syria by spreading the word about their appeal.
Try to imagine how you might feel if this were happening to you. To your child. Just the thought of the thought is unbearable to me.
“I worry that the children will never recover from what they’ve seen. Their pain might never stop.”
Please help them if you can.
To donate to Save the Children’s response to the Syria crisis or for more information go to www.savethechildren.org.uk/syria
To sign up to Save the Children’s petition to the UN calling for the counting of crimes against Syrian children to be scaled up go to www.savethechildren.org.uk/syriaact