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Children in crisis

The IRC and Sesame Street help refugee children learn to heal

Forced to flee terrifying wars, millions of children are living far from home in desperate circumstances. Last year, the International Rescue Committee helped protect and nurture 1.3 million young people worldwide who were living in crisis. Now we are partnering with the educational organization behind Sesame Street to help even more refugee children and their families cope with the trauma and loss they have experienced.

  • More families are uprooted today by conflict than during any time since World War II. The IRC and Sesame Workshop will work together to develop engaging educational content starring the lovable Muppets that can reach children in refugee camps like this one in Jordan -- or wherever they are living -- through TV, radio, mobile phones and other channels. Photo: Jordan Pioneers Multimedia Production Co. 2015

     

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  • Half of all refugees worldwide are children. In 2015, the IRC and our partners provided counseling, care and support to more than 36,800 vulnerable children – like this Syrian girl living in Iraq’s Domiz refugee camp -- and trained 9,525 child protection workers. Photo: Peter Biro/IRC

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  • In eastern Nigeria, where militant attacks have displaced thousands of people from their homes, the IRC organizes play sessions in several “child-friendly spaces” where uprooted children can make new friends and start to recover from trauma. Photo: Peter Biro/IRC

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  • Children in the Central African Republic village of Koui play a blindfold game to help them bond with their peers and rebuild trust. This is just one of many healing activities – including sports, storytelling and dance – we provide for children in conflict zones. Photo: David Belluz/IRC

     

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  • We are also providing safe spaces for Syrian refugee children who work on the streets of Lebanon’s major cities to help their families make ends meet. IRC volunteers lead creative games and music sessions for the children, who have fled from a brutal war in their home country. Photo: Andrea Falcon/IRC

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  • Besides providing a safe place to play, we are helping children heal by getting them back into the comforting routine of school. We’ve set up temporary learning centers for thousands of Burundian children sheltering in Nyarugusu in Tanzania, one of the world’s largest refugee camps. Photo: Peter Biro/IRC

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  • In Lebanon, the IRC provides after-school programs such as tutoring in math, English and other subjects for refugee children who need help catching up. We also make sure children have essential school supplies, including writing materials, textbooks and backpacks. Photo: Sam Tarling/FT

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  • The IRC and our partners are also working to improve the quality of reading education for millions of primary school children in Pakistan by training teachers and sending mobile libraries to rural communities. In 2015 we trained more than 54,000 educators and supported 7,959 schools worldwide. Photo: Umer Farooq/IRC

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