More than half the Syrian population have been forced from their homes by the conflict, leaving millions of children homeless. More than 12.2 million Syrians are in desperate need of humanitarian assistance - 5.6 million are children. SOS Children has helped over 100,000 Syrians survive the hardships of war.
As increasing numbers of Syrians flee the country and become refugees in Europe, we are setting up child friendly spaces where children can play and recover after traveling for days. Over the coming months, we will reach thousands more children in Syria and Europe.
And, as the war rages, we continue our ongoing work providing love, care and healthy, happy childhoods to the most vulnerable children of all.
You can help.
Today, more than 12.2 million Syrians are in need of aid – that's over two thirds of the population. Nearly half this number are children.
The situation for displaced families in Syria is worsening by the day and many rely exclusively on humanitarian assistance to survive. Those most at risk are women with small children. Many mothers are desperately in need of nourishing food, nappies and other critical supplies to keep their babies alive. Over 11 million people have fled their homes, and many their country, to escape a war that, over three years, has turned their once prosperous homeland upside down.
Since August 2012, SOS Children has helped over 100,000 people affected by the war in Syria.
So far, we have:
- Provided shelter for the most vulnerable people, including unaccompanied children, as well as new mothers and their babies.
- Brought warm clothes, bedding and blankets to families forced to live in cold temporary accommodation after being forced from their homes by war.
- Provided 60,000 meals to hungry families displaced by the conflict.
- Helped 16,000 children return to school in autumn 2013 by providing uniforms, equipment and help with tuition fees.
- Provided nourishment and essential supplies to new mothers and their children, including milk and nappies for babies.
- Created child-friendly spaces where children can find refuge from the horrors of war, be in a place of safety with others their own age, and benefit from the support of childcare experts.
- Providing shelter for 1,000 unaccompanied children in Damascus and its surroundings, Aleppo, Homs and Tartous. We will also deliver educational support and skills training, healthcare and nutrition and psychological therapy to these children.
- Continuing to offer safety in child-friendly spaces, providing education, therapy, advice, guidance and support to a further 10,000 children in four locations.
- Distributing food to 5,000 families, reaching 25,000 people, of whom 15,000 will be children.
- Supporting Syrian refugees arriving in Macedonia, Serbia and Italy. We will set up child-friendly spaces and provide access to child psychologists, child-development specialists and education specialists. We are also establishing IT corners to help refugees contact family members, helping reunite families.
Four decades of experience
We have worked to support children and families in Syria since the 1970s, and our long-term presence in the region means we are well-placed to deliver aid effectively, and to continue our ongoing work supporting vulnerable children and families throughout this time of conflict.
Right now, Syrian children need your help. Please consider giving monthly to support our work in Syria.
Your one-off or monthly donation will be directed towards the area of our work in Syria for which the need is greatest. It may be spent directly on our emergency relief programme, or it may be used to support our ongoing work providing care to children without parental care.
Yes. You can sponsor an SOS Children's Village in Syria, providing a happy, healthy start in life for orphans, abandoned children, and children who cannot live with their parents. You will receive a welcome pack introducing you to the Village and surrounding community, followed by regular updates on our work in the region. Alternatively, you can make a one-off donation.
Sponsor a Village
By sponsoring a Children's Village in Syria, you can help make sure children grow up with the love and support they need.
Make a one-off donation
Every donation makes a difference, helping us bring care, education and healthcare to the children who need it the most.
Would you help a freezing child?
Millions watched a moving video of strangers helping a freezing child in need. It reminded us that children in Syria need our support now. The best way to help keep Syrian children warm is to donate to our emergency appeal. Our staff on the ground can then locally source coats and blankets, and coordinate distribution to families in need. We can't accept any winter items by post. Please instead support our work to help the children of Syria.
In pictures: The impact of war
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Find out more about our work in Syria...
More than 300,000 people have made the perilous journey across the Mediterranean to Europe this year. The vast majority of them are fleeing the war in Syria. Last weekend alone around 10,000 refugees and migrants crossed the Greek border and entered Macedonia. As this week's news has highlighted, many of the worst affected are children.
“I remember walking with my family in the hot summer beside the citadel,” says 12-year-old Hassan. “My father used to buy all of us ice-cream and sing on the way back. I wish we were stuck in that memory forever.” Today, his father is dead, and Hassan is one of 3.5 million Syrian children who have lost their homes, their families and their childhood. They are Syria's lost generation.
Saleh is 10, but for him, childhood is a distant memory. He and his family live in the warzone that was once Syria's bustling capital. For children like Saleh, each day is a struggle for survival, bringing with it memories which no child should have to bear.
Of the 6.5 million people who are internally displaced in Syria, 46% of them are children. After three years of conflict, all these children want is somewhere they can grow up without fear, danger or violence. For displaced Syrian children, a safe home has become their biggest dream.
Sabeen and her children were forced to move from Homs to Damascus following death threats. Modar, her 6-year-old son, suffered from nightmares after the trauma they experienced. Find out why the SOS child-friendly space in Damascus has become a sanctuary for the family.
Using a hidden camera, our colleagues in Norway filmed what happened when a shivering child was left alone at a bus stop in Oslo. The resulting video has warmed the hearts of over 13 million people who have watched it online. The viral video draws our attention to the millions of Syrian children who are facing a harsh winter without warm clothes or safe shelter.