To escape violence, hunger and harm, refugee children leave everything behind. Too often, that means they lose their education as well. That's why Save the Children launched the Return to Learning initiative.

World Refugee Day

June 20, 2019 

Save the Children was built on the foundations of helping children affected by conflict when our founder, Eglantyne Jebb, decided more needed to be done to help children left destitute by the First World War. Today, we continue to be fiercely committed to helping refugee children around the globe whose life has been devastated by violence, persecution and war.

Save the Children is committed to helping the world's refugee children, regardless of ethnicity, religion or any other factor. While the conflict in Syria has demanded urgent global support – we mustn't overlook the staggering needs in other countries.

Thanks to the support of our donors, we continue to reach thousands of displaced and refugee children through our child-friendly spaces in Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq, Egypt and inside Syria. In these spaces we provide psychosocial support and recreational activities for children especially those who have witnessed unimaginable horrors of violence and conflict, helping them to overcome their distress and begin to recover their childhood.

We are also carrying out a wide range of child protection activities including child resiliency activities, supporting child protection committees, establishing safe spaces for young children to play, providing awareness raising sessions for parents and referring children in need of support from psychologists. 

Advocating for Refugee Children to Return to Learning

More than half the world’s refugees are children [1]. On average, refugee children are likely to be out of school for at least three to four years, making it harder for them to catch up on learning, and more likely to drop out if they do not receive the right support [2].

In 2018, we continued to advocate for helping refugee children return to learning, including the incorporation of a time-bound commitment in the Global Compact on Refugees and agreement to include child refugees in national education plans – and we achieved both. Our efforts included the release of a new report, Hear It from the Teachers: Getting Refugee Children Back to Learning. The report sheds light on why educating refugee children matters and the challenges teachers face in helping them.

Changing Lives in Our Lifetime

In our 2019 Global Childhood Report: Changing Lives in Our Lifetime shows a story of positive progress for children in all but one of the eight indicators examined--displacement due to conflict.

While the Syrian conflict contributed significantly to this increase, there have been other major displacements throughout the world over the last five years, notably in and from Burundi, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Iraq, Myanmar, South Sudan, Sudan, Ukraine, and Yemen.

On World Refugee Day, let’s remember that every child deserves a childhood – the time in life when they can learn, play and grow up healthy and safe. Donate to the Child Refugee Crisis Relief Fund so refugee children can have the future every child deserves.

[1] UNHCR

[2] UNHCR

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