65 million people worldwide have fled their homes because of conflict, unrest or disaster. Children account for more than half the total. Child refugees face incredible risks and dangers.
While the arrival of refugees in Europe and the United States has dominated the headlines and sparked heated political discussion, less developed regions have borne the brunt with more than 80% of the world’s refugees. In Uganda alone more than a million refugees have come from South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo and other neighboring countries making it Africa’s largest host country for refugees. Still other conflicts have sparked mass displacement in Northern Africa, Ukraine, the Caucasus, South Asia and Latin America.
Families flee for many reasons but they all dream of giving their children a better life. Sadly this journey often puts children at risk. Children who are separated from their parents or must flee themselves are often the most vulnerable to exploitation, abuse and the stress of long term separation.
This photo essay highlights life at refugee camps across the world, and the work SOS Children's Villages' does to help families and keep children safe. (Photos taken by Will Boase, Giorgos Moutafis and Vincent Tremeau)
Food Distribution at Reception Center at Pagirinya Refugee Settlement, Uganda.
SOS Children’s Villages provides educational support in the Lamwo Refugee Settlement, Uganda.
With the initial influx of more than 850,000 refugees that came to Greece in 2015 space is extremely limited. The Moria Refugee Center, operated by the Greek government, has become overcrowded forcing new arrivals to live on hillsides outside the camp compound.
SOS Children’s Villages supports children in the Moria Refugee Center in Greece. Here, Popi Gkliva, an SOS field worker plays with children in the camp. Speaking with urgency she tells us “every effort should focus on getting these children homes outside the refugee camps.”
At the SOS Children’s Villages Child Friendly Space Eleonas Refugee Camp, Greece – children get to be kids again with bubbles and party hats!
Niger’s southeast Diffa region has struggled for five years with a refugee and displacement crisis related to the Boko Haram insurgency in neighboring Nigeria. Niger hosts more than 108,000 refugees along with nearly 130,000 people displaced by cross-border violence in Nigeria. Estimates suggest that more than half of those living in displacement camps or makeshift shelters are children.
Many of those affected by the Boko Haram insurgency are in the Diffa region in Niger, creating major humanitarian pressure on an impoverished area already struggling to cope with drought and widespread food insecurity. SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting refugees in the Lake Chad region of Niger since 2016. Currently your support is focused on providing nutritional assistance to mothers and infants, as well as psychosocial support and protection for children in Child-Friendly Spaces.
Children play table football at an SOS Child-Friendly Space in Diffa, Niger.
Refugee Children Need Your Support
Thousands of unaccompanied refugee and migrant children are in desperate need of humanitarian aid.