Syria’s lost childhoods
For young children in Syria, life equals war. “Every Syrian child has been impacted by violence, displacement, severed family ties and lack of access to vital services caused by massive physical devastation,” says the UNHCR. Experts say these children live under the kind of toxic stress that changes their brains at the deepest level.
Crossroads sent two shipments to partners in Syria who work with children and their families to build relationships, offer counselling and meet material needs. As well as essentials for families living in camps and temporary homes, such as sleeping bags and warm clothing, we included a massive number of brand-new toys, given to us by Hasbro and other donors. We are always advised that it is essential for children traumatised by war to play so they can learn how to ‘be children’.
Photos of these toys being distributed speak loudly. Staff regularly visit children in their homes, some in temporary tents, some in basic concrete dwellings, and they were thrilled to be bringing gifts from the shipment this time. They told us, “The kids were overjoyed to have their first toy in their hands: something that was simply for them to keep. The parents were excited and deeply grateful because they could never afford to buy their children any.”