Imagine you had to leave your home tomorrow. And not just your home, but your country too.
Think of the rush of thoughts and feelings that would race through your mind: the fear, the anxiety, the unknown.
Now, imagine if you had to do all of this as a child…
Tragically, that’s an experience millions of children have gone through. Forced to flee their homes and their countries, there are over 26 million refugees in the world – more than 10 million of those are just children.
Though safe from the war and persecution that haunted their lives in their home countries, their new homes don’t necessarily promise an easier or safer life. Language barriers, poverty, food and water insufficiency, and lack of medicine and shelter are just a few of the obstacles thousands of refugees face before they can feel truly safe.
Charity Right is proud to support nearly 1,700 child refugees from Uyghur, Rohingya and Eritrean communities.
These are some of their stories.
The Rohingya people are an ethnic group from Myanmar and perhaps the most persecuted minority in the world. After a genocide in 2017, thousands fled to Bangladesh, 60% of which were children. They face disease, malnutrition and more, while the older children at risk of becoming a ‘lost generation.’
12-year-old Mohammed fled his home in Myanmar when he was just 7 years-old after his father was killed by the Myanmar army. He sought refuge with his mother and elder brother in Balukhali Refugee Camp 10 in Cox’s Bazar. With a lack of food and facilities in the camp, Mohammed was malnourished and suffered from poor mental and physical health.
Thanks to Charity Right, Mohammed and his older brother now both live in a madrassah. With nutritional food lining their bellies, they’re finally overcoming their trauma, and their mental and physical health improve every day.
11-year-old Shawkat also fled her home in Myanmar. Although now one of the most underprivileged of Charity Right’s beneficiaries, her father used to own agricultural land in Myanmar, giving her family a stable financial situation.
However, when her father became a victim of military brutality during Myanmar’s ethnic cleansing mission, Shawkat’s family had to abandon everything they worked so hard to achieve. With six siblings, a sick mother, and respiratory problems herself, Shawkat has many things to worry about on top of losing her home.
Thanks to Charity Right, Shawkat is now much healthier and happier. With hot nutritious meals available every day at her madrassah, she has one less thing to worry about. Her health is improving and she’s beginning to get her life back.
Eritrea is sometimes called “the North Korea of Africa.” With the government enslaving, torturing and murdering its own people, thousands flee the country every month. Refugees are pursued by Eritrean agents, ordered to capture or even shoot on sight if anyone tries to enter Ethiopia. Many children who escape Eritrea do so unaccompanied and seek refuge in a strange country completely alone.
Mohammed Ali fled Eritrea after innocent civilians in a nearby village were massacred. Mohammed may sadly be blind, but his family’s safety was nevertheless his utmost concern. Gathering all 21 members of the family together, all three generations escaped Eritrea to seek refuge in Sudan’s Kilo 26 refugee camp.
Although his family is safe, they only have five beds. Since three to four children share a bed at a time, when one gets ill they all get ill. Mohamed’s family are grateful to have escaped Eritrea, but their struggles are far from over.
Rania is a 13-year-old Eritrean who lives with her parents and four siblings in another refugee camp in Sudan. Although safe from the atrocities in their homeland, they struggle to afford food and have no choice but to skip meals. It wasn’t long before her father fell sick and was bedridden.
Thanks to Charity Right’s help, Rania is able to attend Abu-Zar-Algfary school. She loves learning from her teachers, reading, and having enough energy to play. With the right nutrition, she’s thriving and is top of her class! Rania dreams of going to university and becoming a doctor so she can help her family and community.
The Uyghurs are an ethnic group from the Xinjiang province of China who are systematically persecuted and sent to “re-education camps” – all because of their ethnicity and Islamic beliefs. Thousands of Uyghurs have sought refuge all over the world, many of whom are children. They’re scared, confused, and stuck in a different country, with many of their relatives arrested and detained in China.
Esma is in 5th grade at her middle school. With nine other siblings to care for, her family have had financial difficulties ever since they sought refuge in Istanbul. Although safe from persecution, Esma’s parents struggled to afford food and school expenses – something that particularly upset them because Esma is a bright girl with a lot of potential.
Thanks to Charity Right, school has never been better for Esma. She loves coming in to eat, and she finally has enough nutritious food to focus on her studies. The financial burden has been eased for her family who are now more confident about her health and education than they ever have been.
Meanwhile, Sherife also lives in Istanbul. With her father’s unstable job and her mother’s meagre salary as a school cleaner, Sherife’s parents have struggled to provide for her and her six siblings ever since they fled from China. But Charity Right have eased the financial pressure.
Although money is tight, Sherife is now able to buy books to prepare for school exams. When she’s at school, she’s healthier and happier than she used to be. Her attendance and grades have steadily improved, and she chooses to spend as much time as she can playing with friends and doing her homework.
There are millions of child refugees spread across the globe. Although these are only a handful of examples, each child needs the same support. With regular nutritious meals provided at school, they have a chance to be healthier and happier with an education that will lead to a brighter future.
Please Sign In to leave a comment