But for children in the Philippines and Syria, that definitely is not the case. And even though those places may be worlds away from you, I hope you’ll stop for a moment, read about the plight little ones in these two forlorn countries face and, through UNICEF Australia, decide there is something you can do to help.
On Friday, November 8, a powerful typhoon called Haiyan struck the Philippines. You probably saw some of the initial news reports about the typhoon’s impact on communities across the country. Powerful winds ripped roofs off housing and uprooted trees. Flooding and the collapse of buildings killed thousands of people. Parents were separated from their children; millions of people lost their homes, their belongings, and their livelihoods.
Among other services, UNICEF is helping to reunite families and provide clean water and simple shelter. I was particularly moved by the story of five siblings who somehow managed to survive the typhoon. The oldest, an 18-year-old boy, stayed alive by clinging to the top of a tree branch with one arm while he held a younger brother with the other. His sister also wrapped her arms around a tree to keep from drowning when flood waters surged through their neighborhood. The three children have no idea how their younger brothers outlasted the storm, but they did, and were found sitting in the sand in front of what used to be their home. Their parents are gone.
UNICEF has opened a Child Friendly Space at a school where these kids and others are staying. The non-profit charity is providing food, water, and even technology to help the kids find extended family members who will take them in. But with all the children orphaned by Haiyan, this is an extremely daunting task. Your donation will help. As little as $41 will provide emergency food rations to nourish children and families. For $93, you can provide 7 heavy duty tarpaulin sets to shelter children who have lost their homes. And $140 can provide a basic family water kit for 10 families containing water purification tablets, soap and buckets.
Please respond to UNICEF’s Philippines Typhoon Haiyan Appeal today.
The war in Syria is also taking its greatest toll on the children who live there. Of the two million Syrians who have been forced to flee their homes, half are kids.
Exploding bombs and battle zones have created hell on earth for these youngsters. Because the country’s economy has collapsed, food is scarce and illness is rampant: more than a third of all hospitals in the country have closed. Says UNICEF, “An entire generation of Syrian children is at risk, growing up traumatised. They need shelter, clean water, medicine, food and education.”
That’s where you come in. For just $50, you can help buy clothes, blankets and other essentials for a family that had to leave everything behind when they fled their home. Help keep kids learning by sending $100, which will buy 122 exercise books and 1,818 pencils to maintain schooling for children who have suffered trauma. Whatever amount you can donate, UNICEF will put to good use, providing food, clothing, water, medicine and perhaps most importantly, a safe haven for kids who should be playing with balls, not worrying about bombs.
Donate today to help kids suffering in the Syria crisis. Thank you.
NOTE: We are grateful to UNICEF Australia for sponsoring this post and giving us the chance to tell you about ways you can help children in Syria and the Philippines overcome the trauma of natural disaster and war.