The civil war in Syria has entered its third year, and the number of refugees fleeing the country has doubled in the past three months.
Today's post -- the third in our series about the crisis -- offers a list of the most frequently asked questions to offer our readers some background to the growing humanitarian needs.
Last week, we launched a weekly series about the two-year conflict in Syria. Check out the first post by Andrea Peer if you missed it. Every Wednesday for the next several weeks, we’ll have a new story or perspective on the crisis.
In today's post by World Vision's Michael Bailey: A father struggles to find work and enough food to feed his family. A mother longs to hear from her 20-year-old son living in the war zone. Children sit and wait, idly passing hours and days, dreaming of going home to be with friends.
Today, we're kicking off a weekly series about the two-year conflict in Syria and the region's subsequent refugee crisis. Every Wednesday for the next several weeks, we'll have a new story or perspective on this situation, so check back!
Today's post is by Andrea Peer, World Vision communications manager, who remembers a different Syria from a visit 11 years ago -- and wonders about its future.
You won't hear much in the media about the conflict in Syria -- but it's causing significant human suffering that warrants our attention and prayer.
As the crisis approaches its second anniversary, the number of Syrian refugees in Lebanon, Iraq, Jordan, Turkey, and Egypt is quickly approaching 1 million.
Here are some ways that you can pray for all the people affected as the unrest continues.
During the recent conflict in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, I was evacuated along with other World Vision colleagues to Gisenyi, Rwanda, a town a little more than a mile across the border.
We were later allowed to return to Goma to help civilians who had been displaced. Rebels of the March 23 (M23) movement were in charge of the city, and thousands of people had lost their homes and sense of stability.
An 8-year-old Syrian refugee child named Layla* shares, “I saw my cousin dying in front of me, so I always see this scene in front of my eyes.”
As children all over North America happily rummage through the cheerful remains of Christmas Day’s joys -- festive gift wrap strewn about, the latest version of Halo blaring from 40-inch television screens -- the existence of Syrian children presently seeking refuge in Lebanon is one far less carefree.
In this season of joy, it’s difficult to fathom that at least 66,000 children like Layla are coping with the loss of home and childhood as their families struggle to survive the displacement of war and onset of a cold, snowy winter in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley.
With more food on the planet than ever before, it's difficult to believe that people still go hungry every day. You might assume that natural disasters, drought, or a lack of access to necessary farming equipment are to blame for a lack of food. What may surprise you, though, is that conflict is a leading cause of hunger.
Currently, conflict between Sudan and South Sudan is causing food shortages affecting millions, leaving children most vulnerable. While it is easy to see the role that a natural disaster or drought plays in hunger, the connection between conflict and hunger can be complicated. To make this complex issue easier to understand, World Vision's James Addis outlines some key questions below.
Late last week -- after months of hard work, design, and planning -- students from three different schools gathered at John Brown University to present their solutions to the growing need for shelter of displaced people worldwide.
World Vision has been on the front lines, responding to the challenge of providing contextually appropriate shelter that offers privacy, security, and refuge from the elements -- all while being resistant to future disasters, like flooding and earthquakes.
As a part of the World Vision team that responds to emergency situations, I have firsthand knowledge of the importance of temporary shelters and was called upon to judge the student's designs.
Every woman has a story. And, like all stories, if you change one page, one paragraph, or even one word, you could change her story.
This is my story.
I was born a girl into a culture that still prefers and elevates boys. I was born into a war-torn country whose new government had stripped its citizens of all their rights and freedoms.
Significantly, I was born to parents who were determined to not let these dismal factors prevent their daughter from experiencing the very best that life could offer -- even if that meant risking their lives, leaving their friends and family, and fleeing from the only home they had ever known.
Thus, at the age of 3 months, I became one of the youngest boat refugees to escape Vietnam.
A new World Vision report indicates that nearly half of the children surveyed in drought-devastated northern Kenya had eaten no food for a full day. Those separated from their parents have fared even worse. Children are now begging by the roadside as they fight for survival, putting themselves at risk of violence and sexual abuse. Students are failing to attend class as they work on construction sites or walk with livestock to find pasture. Young girls are being married off to raise money.
Jon Warren, World Vision's award-winning photo director, is traveling in East Africa to document the emergency hunger situation and highlight World Vision’s work in the region. The photos below are from Dadaab, the largest refugee camp in the world, situated outside of Nairobi, Kenya. More than 400,000 Somalis -- roughly the population of Miami, Florida -- are amassed in Dabaab, escaping decades of conflict and a drought that has taken their crops and their livestock.
[caption id="attachment_7370" align="aligncenter" width="625" caption="Drought refugees continue to flood into Dadaab camp in Kenya. Circumstances remain difficult, even when they reach the relative safety of the camp. Blowing sand adds to the misery at Dadaab."][/caption]
Earlier this month, Collins Kaumba, a World Vision communicator in Zambia, shared his experience visiting a camp for internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Sudan. His words were jarring: "Indelible memories of the suffering I saw in Darfur have followed me since the day I left Sudan...I have seen suffering and poverty in Zambia and other places in Africa -- but not of the magnitude I saw when I visited Darfur’s camps..."
A reader in Israel commented on the post and made note of the thousands of Sudanese refugees there who are watching the situation in their homeland as the South prepares for its independence in just a few weeks.
Years of conflict in this African country have caused millions to flee for their safety -- not just to other places within Sudan, but internationally as well. This is one global hotspot recognized as an origin of refugees. But the problem is much larger.
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