Invisible wounds: refugee children and mental health

13 March 2017

“When the war came, all the Syrian children forgot everything they learned and now know nothing else except war. I feel like I’ve seen so many terrible things. I lost out on two years of school, and my brother has grown up and has hardly studied at all. What if I get old and I continue on this same path and I lose out on my entire future?”  (Zeinab, aged 12, at a displaced persons camp in Hassakeh NE Syria) 

A new report, Invisible Wounds, from Save the Children has revealed how the war in Syria has ruined childhoods, leading to ‘toxic stress’ across a generation of children, leaving a life-long impact on their mental and physical health.

Read Invisible Wounds here

How, in the light of the devastating impact of conflict and displacement, can we help these children build more hopeful futures?

We spoke to the Sunday programme on Radio 4 (listen here from 26:19) to explain how our educational mentoring increases the confidence and reduces the isolation of young people seeking safety in the UK. Along with faith communities and other organisations, such as Home for Good and No Strings International, two of our volunteer mentors explained why they choose to spend an each week showing young people that that they have a future worth investing in. One of them explains:

"He doesn’t have any family, and family are the people who guide and support you, and he doesn’t have that. He is a young man with the weight of the world on his shoulders, and he’s dealing with all that on his own".

Listen to the broadcast here (from 26:19)

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