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Save Fragile Lives - World Refugee Day

From school yard games to dodging bombs

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When Life As You Know It Disappears, In An Instant

“We were in our village when the missiles and bombs hit. All the houses were destroyed. An explosion happened at the back of the school. I could hear loud screaming from the pain.”  – Shaima, a Syrian child refugee

Imagine running as fast as you can, carrying only the most basic items and a few loved possessions. You sneak a look back as you flee, at your beautiful home and the tree you have climbed all your life. You hurry down the street, past your best friend’s house, your school, the alleys you love to play in. You catch one last glimpse of your home and the life you love. And in an instant, they become nothing but memories of a life long ago.

As we observe World Refugee Day on 20 June, we remember the children whose lives have changed in the blink of an eye, children just like Shaima. Forced to leave home behind, Shaima’s family fled 72 kilometres through the desert to seek refuge in Jordan. Her sister tragically did not survive the journey.

Like Shaima, 28 million* children worldwide are forced to become refugees because of war and violence in some of the most dangerous places on Earth.

 

 

Living in Dangerous Places

There are places in the world that are far too dangerous or unstable for us to set up "Child Sponsorship" programmes. Known as fragile contexts, these are areas where governments cannot (or will not) act to protect the rights of their people. For children and families living in these places, basic necessities like food, clean water, education, security and protection from abuse and exploitation seem hopelessly out of reach.

Being born in a country that is a fragile context means that you may wake up one day not in the comfort of your bed, but crammed into a small tent with your family. Living in these countries means that you might not have schools, because they are either closed or destroyed. Most of your basic rights have been violated, but you don’t know it because this is the norm for you. All of this is made worse by natural disasters such as famines, floods and pandemics like COVID-19.

 

A world map that has Turkey, Syria, Saudi Arabia and Mediterranean Sea

 

Syria


Since 2011, the war in Syria has claimed hundreds of thousands of lives, including 55,000 children. Nearly 12 million people have been forced to flee their homes and are displaced within Syria or seeking safety in Lebanon, Turkey, Jordan and beyond.

Read Shaima's story

 

A world map that has South Sudan, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Uganda and Africa

 

South Sudan


Due to the ongoing civil conflict, there are currently 4.3 million displaced people from South Sudan, including refugees, internally-displaced people and asylum-seekers. There are now over 2 million South Sudan refugees, making it the largest refugee crisis in Africa.

Read Agnes's story

 

A world map that has South Sudan, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Zambia, and Africa

 

Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)

Lasting violence in DRC has forced millions from their homes, and many displaced people face major health risks. The most vulnerable are women and children as displacement increases the risk of sexual and gender-based violence.

Read Marie's story

 

Rebuild Their World with Us

Shaima laughing in the picture

This World Refugee Day, we invite you to be part of rebuilding a safe world for refugees. Every child deserves a life of security, opportunity and dignity. That is our hope for those living in dangerous places, but ultimately it is the refugees themselves – their courage and unwavering hope in a better tomorrow – that inspires the work we do.

Due to the volatility and fragility of countries like Syria, World Vision’s work in fragile contexts varies. We need to be flexible and adaptable, working together with partners to provide positive outcomes for children like Shaima, Agnes and Marie.

Our goal is to provide life-saving supplies like food, shelter and hygiene kits, and lasting interventions to help communities recover such as establishing Child-Friendly Spaces that help children deal with trauma, access counselling and catch up on education.

 

How can you partner with us in this life-saving work?

DONATE in support of World Vision’s work in fragile contexts. Every ringgit given is stretched to help children and families survive, recover and build for a brighter future.

Donors who sign up for a recurring monthly donation of RM50 will receive a special edition handwoven Wristband of Hope (while stocks last). In refugee camps around the world, child refugees are often given a token or wristband upon registration. When a child wears a wristband, it means they are safe – their rights as refugees are now recognised and protected. It is a symbol of hope, connecting you to the children whose future is now brighter with your support.

 

Wristband of Hope (for illustration purposes only)

 

What the Wristband of Hope’s colours* represent:

Blue – a child registered as a refugee

Yellow – a child refugee needing special care and protection

White – a child refugee needing a designated guardian

*Registration colours from a refugee camp in Northern Uganda

 

 

Give RM50
(Monthly)

Children and families in places like Syria, South Sudan and eastern DRC are severely deprived of basic necessities for survival due to conflict and instability. With your contribution, you could reach the world’s most vulnerable people.
Give RM150
(One-time or Monthly)

Children and families in places like Syria, South Sudan and eastern DRC are severely deprived of basic necessities for survival due to conflict and instability. With your contribution, you could reach the world’s most vulnerable people.
Give any amount
(One-time or Monthly)

Children and families in places like Syria, South Sudan and eastern DRC are severely deprived of the basics of life due to conflict and instability. With your contribution, you could help the world’s most vulnerable people survive.

LISTEN AND LEARN from voices on the ground. On 20 June 2021, we hosted an e-Forum for World Refugee Day. Moderated by World Vision Malaysia Child Protection Advocate Deborah Henry, participants heard from human rights activist Heidy Quah and World Vision Lebanon Communications Manager Josephine Haddad on the issues facing refugees today. Our panelists also shared how all of us can play a part in shifting perceptions towards refugee communities. Watch an excerpt of the e-Forum here:

 

 


*Children on the Move (UNICEF, February 2018)