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The Best Ways To Help Children Fleeing ISIS This Winter

November 7, 2014 by Open Doors in ,

Erbil, Iraq: Streets covered in trash, families desperately seeking shelter, and winter fast approaching – for Christians and other minorities fleeing the onslaught of ISIS, the nightmare only gets worse.

Open Doors is on the ground in Iraq and Syria working to help women, men, and children fleeing for their lives. We are sheltering families, providing food, clothing, trauma counseling, and education. All of these areas remain crucial.

Today I want to share about a different, extremely vital aspect of our work on the ground in Iraq and Syria – the creation of “child-friendly spaces.”

Just take one moment to imagine what young, impressionable children in Iraq are enduring: the threat of beheadings, mass executions, crucifixions, displacement and forcible removal from their homes.

These are realities that would scar any of us for life – and young children are enduring these threats on a daily basis. Some have watched as family members were killed in front of them. The horrors facing these children are unimaginable.

That’s why Open Doors is committed to creating designated, supervised areas where children affected by the horrors of war can go to simply be children. Child-friendly spaces provide children with the opportunity to:

  • play games
  • draw pictures
  • participate in educational classes
  • listen to music
  • eat snacks
  • watch videos
  • play with other children

It’s one small step in beginning to reclaim millions of lost childhoods.

In any war it is crucial to think about the impact on the next generation. That’s why in Iraq and Syria, child-friendly spaces are one of the most important aspects of our work. Additionally, as winter is coming, join with us to provide warm clothes, shelter and other needed items, so children and their families can survive the winter.

Children are the future. We need to protect them, encourage them, support them, invest in them. If you can, please share this message with your friends. Supporting child-friendly spaces is one of the most crucial ways that we can make a difference for Christians fleeing ISIS.

by Kristin Wright, Director of Advocacy at Open Doors USA

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