Faced with the humanitarian problem of refugees mobilizing all European opinions, many Kiwanians, from North to South of Europe, did not want to remain indifferent.
The challenge is to find the families, to offer the children protection, assistance, care and continued education to avoid the perilous crossings of the Mediterranean, traffic of all kinds and to rebuild their country when peace would come back.
A first assessment:
At the end of the first year 2017-2018 of the project, 6 of the 10 districts (including the provisionary district) had already adopted the project. The result was not less than € 81,570.03 for the benefit of refugee children and has therefore helped a significant number of children exposed to deficiencies and all dangers! A big thank you to everyone who participated in the project!
We are now starting the third year of the project: Refugee children always need us, if not more!
Do you also want to support this project that puts Kiwanis on the European map?
Do not hesitate to contact your local manager, your District Happy Child Chair, your Governor, or your dedicated KIEF Happy Child Project Chair Josy at firstname.lastname@example.org.
"Happy Child": a haven of peace for thousands of children in Syria
5.7 million: this is the number of children affected by the conflict that has ravaged Syria since 2011. From 2016 and for three years, the Belgian team of SOS Children's Villages has invested heavily in strengthening the emergency aid program developed by the NGO in Tartous. It was able to rely on the support of the "Happy Child" project from Kiwanis from 2017 onward to provide thousands of children with shelter away from violence. Back on the results of this collaboration and future challenges.
Allow children to just be children
SOS Children's Villages has implemented various projects for vulnerable children in Tartous. A dedicated day care center has been developed for them: "Children could take part in games and psychosocial assistance workshops in the company of educators and psychologists entirely devoted to their well-being," explains Stijn. Raes, project coordinator.
The goal? Help the youngest to express their emotions, gain self-confidence and regain the carefree childhood for a few hours each day. A total of 3,500 children have found a safe and welcoming place to flourish.
A roof for 150 single children
In addition, SOS Children's Villages has created a temporary reception center for single and homeless children. "Many of them have lost track of their families while fleeing conflict and have found themselves in an extremely fragile situation," says Stijn Raes. We provided 150 children with a safe place where they felt safe, protected from the dangers of the street. " At the same time, the SOS teams were looking for families to allow their reunification. When the relatives of the young people were in a too vulnerable situation to receive them, the NGO supported them through its family strengthening program.
Making families stronger
61 families have worked intensively with SOS employees to improve their situation. "Development of an income-generating activity, help with the management of school costs, support in administrative procedures ...: every aspect has been taken into account so that families are strong enough to take care of their children", details the coordinator. Leila * is one of the participants in this program. After the death of her husband, this mother had to take care of her children alone. Fortunately, she found help from the NGO. Two of her children were temporarily taken into care in the temporary reception center at Tartous. During this period, Leila was able to develop her professional activity. She bought a cow and now lives on the sale of milk and livestock. This allows her to take good care of his family.
New challenges for the future
The emergency program in Tartous has recently come to an end and the results are very positive. "132 of the 150 children in our temporary reception center have been reunited with their families or found a new home with an SOS family", reports Stijn Raes.