Children in Mosul have been trapped under ISIL’s terror for much of their young lives. Many have witnessed unimaginable violence, experienced harsh persecution and missed out on school at a critical time in their development.
Haitham, 12, said he hadn’t been to school for almost two years. “The only school I could go to was a Daesh school,” he said, using the local term for the so-called Islamic State. “They only wanted to teach us how to use guns,” he continued, pretending to shoot with his hands. “But I didn’t want to. I don’t want to use guns, I don’t like guns.” All he wanted was to go back to a normal school.
Now, as these boys and girls flee into camps, UNICEF’s ‘child-friendly spaces’ are helping them learn, play and simply be kids again.
Each tent is a safe and welcoming place where children can escape from the chaos that swirls around them. A chance to get psychosocial care and recover from the profound stress of war. A place filled with songs, games and budding friendships.
3. Vaccinating children against deadly outbreaks of disease