As fighting in Syria approaches its second anniversary the United Nations estimates more than 60,000 people have died in the conflict since it began in March, 2011.
Hundreds of thousands of people have also fled Syria for neighbouring countries, with almost 500,000 registering as refugees in Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey and Iraq. There are fears thousands more people are too scared to register, leaving them in foreign countries without any support.
World Vision is working with Syrian refugees in Lebanon to make sure they are prepared for the harsh winter, handing out blankets and providing vouchers for goods such as stoves and fuel.
Almost 180,000 Syrians are either registered as refugees or are waiting to register with the UN in Lebanon. More than half of them are children. Many have seen unimaginable atrocities, some have been separated from their families, all are now in a strange country with little security or certainty.
A report into the situation faced by Syrian children in Lebanon, called "Robbed of Childhood, Running from War", revealed some of the horrors faced by those fleeing a warzone.
Layla*, 8, told World Vision, “I saw my cousin dying in front of me, so I always see this scene in front of my eyes”. Another child, Alaa*, 7, spoke of witnessing the slaughter of her brothers. “My three brothers died in Syria. They were younger than me. They shot my brothers when they were playing with their friends on the street.”
In addition to witnessing or experiencing violence many refugee children are also suffering the consequences of having their education interrupted.
World Vision is running child-friendly spaces so refugee children have a safe place to play and is working to help children attend school. It aims to provide remedial classes to Syrian children who study in Arabic and are struggling to cope with the Lebanese school curriculum, where classes are taught in English and French. World Vision is seeking to provide support to children who leave or otherwise don’t attend school because they need to work to help support their families.
Last year, World Vision launched an appeal to help more than 40,000 Syrian refugees throughout winter and has reached more than 17,000 people in the past few months. Syrian refugees in Lebanon need help to meet their basic needs such as food, fuel, stoves and other winter supplies, child protection activities, child-friendly spaces, and psychosocial and education support for children.
World Vision works with both registered and unregistered refugees throughout Lebanon, aiming to reach the most vulnerable children and families.
How you can help
Your support for the Syrian Refugee Crisis appeal will enable World Vision to help children and their families affected by this conflict. Donate today to help families to access food, blankets, warm clothing, fuel and personal hygiene items to prepare for the upcoming winter. Your donation will also help World Vision provide a safe and supportive environment to children via Child Friendly Spaces.
*Children's names have been changed for their protection.