CAFOD's local Church partners in Turkey have provided Syrian refugee children with places to play, relax and feel safe again.
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What did CAFOD's response look like in Turkey before the earthquake?
Over 1 million children have fled Syria as refugees – more than the total number of children in Catholic schools in England and Wales. Our local Church partners in Turkey have provided Syrian refugee children with places to play, relax and feel safe again.
“The war has stolen the smiles of children: their joy, their laughter, and their happiness,” explains Malek, a Syrian refugee, who volunteers with children who have also fled the conflict. “When someone is only surviving, without all those things they need to have a decent and good life, they die inside.”
"Children who used to feel safe in their homes and schools have lost everything. Some have been injured, others have seen their parents killed or arrested. Most have heard planes circling, tanks rolling by, and machine guns going off.
"I know from my work with young children that they cope with difficult situations differently from adults.
"They rarely talk about the way they feel or tell stories like the ones I’ve heard from older refugees. They show their feelings through the way they act. Some are withdrawn and quiet, others are angry and aggressive.
"Some draw pictures showing what is on their mind. Over the last year, I’ve been helping set up safe, supportive environments where children can express their feelings and start the long process of recovering a sense of normality."
With your support, we are helping children affected by the Syria crisis to be children again.