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Children worst affected by crises and disasters

Sarwat Nasir/Dubai
Filed on March 21, 2017 | Last updated on March 21, 2017 at 08.50 pm
The SOS Children’s Villages has been operating for the past 68 years and provides care for children who have lost their parents or guardians. The organisation works with children in 153 countries.
The SOS Children's Villages has been operating for the past 68 years and provides care for children who have lost their parents or guardians. The organisation works with children in 135 countries.

To help the child with her psychological and physical healing, the humanitarian organisation SOS Children's Villages stepped in.

Aged just 11, an African child saw her parents getting brutally murdered with a machete during the Rwanda genocide. Their hands were cut off and their heads split open.

To help the child with her psychological and physical healing, the humanitarian organisation SOS Children's Villages stepped in.

This is just one of many children that SOS Children's Villages has helped. Operating for the past 68 years, the organisation works in 135 countries, providing care for children who have lost their parents or guardians. They aid children with shelter, help finance medical costs and provide psychological support to children and their families.

Speaking to Khaleej Times at the 14th Dubai International Humanitarian Aid and Development Conference (DIHAD), the special representative for external affairs and resources at the organisation, Richard Pichler, said children need to be given the right opportunities to get their lives back to normal.

"The remarkable thing for me was when I met this girl from Rwanda two years after the incident. She was 14-years-old by then and was attending school. She was part of the community and class and she was laughing. I said to myself that this is a miracle that this child can smile again. This is just one miracle; we have to create thousands of like these," Pichler said.

Pichler also touched on the efforts the group has been making in Syria for the past 40 years. He said that if the children of Syria are not given the right education and help, history will repeat itself.

"A child is a child, no matter what status or asylum status the parents have. The country the child is resident in at any time is obliged to protect him or her. Every government has to do this. We have to provide this child with safety and trust to have a normal life again, go back to education and be given professional training. In the long term, the world community has to do much more to implement the sustainable development goals."

Pichler said that the conditions in Syria are so terrible that it could take three decades to rebuild the country. He said it is up to the next generation to rebuild Syria; however, it is up to the adults today to give them the proper tools and education so they can reach that point. "We have to work with the children immediately to make them understand that the past is the past: we have to look forward. The children are the ones who will take charge of these countries in 15 to 20 years in a better way than it is now," Pichler said.

The theme for this year's DIHAD is 'The Impact of Crises and Disasters on Children'.

sarwat@khaleejtimes.com

 

 


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