Migrants, refugees and internally-displaced children

The news focusing on the desperate search for refuge by many thousands of people entering Europe, has seen further tragedy this week highlighted with the story and images of Aylan and Galip on the beaches of Turkey.

Young children’s lives have been lost as they search for a new life.

The arguments of what to do, who should do what, and how can we support/stop ‘these people’ rages across the pages of the newspapers and on our TV screens.

The tragedy is heartbreaking.

Internationally there is great distinction made by politicians and lawyers on the status people have – migrant vs asylum seeker, refugee vs internally displaced people. The reality is that these are people who are desperate to leave their lives behind and start a new life in Europe.

We have a human duty, and a moral obligation to act to help people. Contrary to news reports the UK has been a phenomenal supporter of refugees and IDPs in the Syrian crisis – both in taking asylum seekers from camps, but also in the financial support to aid agencies in and around Syria.

And through voluntary donations.

In Iraq we have been working with camps that are hosting internally displaced people from other areas in Iraq, mostly Christians, mostly from Mosul and the surrounding countryside.

Unlike refugees and unlike migrants these people have different rights, they are still supposed to live within their own country, and their own country is responsible for funds to support them. All well in theory, but in reality there are considerable financial constraints on Iraq and the Kurdish Autonomous region, as well as logistical issues, with housing shortages, food shortages and chronic overcrowding in schools. Like refugees and migrants, their lives are desperate, the upheaval unnerving, and the search for a better life all consuming.

In Iraq we are working to ensure that children whose lives have been irreversibly changed by the persecution by ISIS, can rebuild them through education – as well as ensuring their childhood is not ripped from them too soon, supporting activities and social programmes, from football, to days out.

Help us ensure that these childhoods are not lost.

We are aiming to raise £10,614 (in remembrance of the date of the fall of Mosul and the start of this crisis) to provide a mobile library to work across centres housing 8000 children. This library will provide a safe place for study, reading, art, and mixing with other children, away from the cramped conditions of the tents and shelters where they live.

To donate please visit our website and follow the links – www.ankawafoundation.org

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