Syria. Child Refugees Lesson Plan KS3/4

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1 Syria Child Refugees Lesson Plan KS3/4 An introduction to the topical issue of children who flee war and become refugees. The lesson plan and associated activities can be used as they are, but most of the resources are also able to be used as standalone activities to supplement your own lessons. Time: 1 hour Learning objectives: Introduce students to the abnormal lives that child refugees lead Appreciate the challenging conditions that child refugees experience Learn about what SOS Children s Villages is doing to help children in Syria Resources: Introduction to child refugees sheet (supplied) What is a refugee? sheet (supplied) Refugees problems and solutions sheet (supplied) Refugees what s the difference? sheet (supplied) SOS Children s Villages in Syria sheet (supplied) Syria case studies sheets (supplied) Links to the National Curriculum: Citizenship Geography

2 Warm up what is a refugee? Get students to discuss what they think a refugee is and complete the What is a refugee? sheet Talk through the Introduction to child refugees sheet 15 mins Introduction to child refugees sheet What is a refugee? sheet A day in the life of a refugee Get students to write a diary of a typical day in their life 10 mins Next, get them to imagine, and write down a day-in-thelife of a child refugee Do they live in a house made of bricks? What sorts of things do they eat? Do they go to school? Where do they live? How far do they have to walk everyday? How do they feel? For younger children, or lower ability groups, use the Refugees what s the difference? sheet Syria refugees, what s the difference sheet Problems and Use the refugee problems and solutions 20 mins solutions sheet to encourage students to think about the day-today difficulties facing those in charge of running the Problems refugee camps that house Syrian refugees. and solutions sheet What is SOS Children doing? Use the SOS Children s Villages in Syria activity 10 mins sheet to develop student s knowledge of what the charity is doing to help SOS Syria in crisis. This sheet also includes a poster of SOS Children s Children s Villages Supporting Children and Families in Villages in Syria. This can be used for display purposes or as part Syria sheet of a fundraising initiative (see below for ideas)

3 Extension ideas: Research one of the two SOS Children s Villages in Syria and produce a presentation Write to the PM about the refugee crisis in Syria and asking him to increase aid How you can help: Using their knowledge of refugees, get students to write a story, poem or draw a picture of what life is like for Syrian child refugees. Combine the work into a book and sell it, with money raised going towards the Syria Emergency Appeal. Students will love seeing their hard work in print! (Tip, if students need more ideas, they can use the Syria case studies sheet for inspiration).

4 Resource: What is a refugee? A refugee is the name given to: a. people who are forced to leave their home and country because of something they have done wrong b. people who are forced to leave their home and country to escape war, persecution or natural disaster. Refugees are able to: a. return home whenever they like b. cannot return home easily Refugees are: a. happy to leave their home and country b. afraid and sad to leave their home and country Refugees are able to: a. take all their possessions with them when they leave b. have to leave most of their possessions at home and take only what they can carry Refugees move into: a. lovely new homes in a new country b. tents in a temporary camp Refugees have: a. lots of food, a balanced diet and clean water b. very little food, a balanced diet and clean water Refugee children: a. are able to go to a good school with lots of resources and equipment b. often stop attending school or attend schools in makeshift buildings with no pens or paper

5 Resource: Introduction to child refugees Every day, somewhere in the world, children become refugees. They flee their countries because their lives are in danger. If they stay, they risk being treated badly because of their race, religion, nationality or their parents political beliefs. Perhaps they flee because their country is being torn apart by war. But young children usually don t understand the reasons... they are scared and they run. They take with them only a few things which they can carry. Often there is no room for their most precious possessions. What is a refugee? A person who has been forced to leave their country in order to escape war, persecution, or natural disaster. Many of them cannot return home or are afraid to do so. How many refugees are there? The UN estimates that there are currently 65 million refugees around the world right now. How many Syrian refugees are there? There are around 4.8 million Syrian refugees. This is according to the UN in Where do they live? The majority of Syrian refugees live in camps in Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, as well as many other countries. A person who has been forced to leave their country in order to escape war, persecution, or natural disaster. Many of them cannot return home or are afraid to do so. Refugee camps often become home - many refugees end up living in refugee camps for years. However, they need, and have a right to, all the things we do shelter, food, clean water, medical care and education. Separation Many refugee children end up alone: Chaos of escape means children easily lose their parents and families

6 In Syria, many children have lost parents in the conflict These children have to grow up fast missing out on their childhood Food and Health It is very hard for refugees to get enough food to feed themselves and their families even with help from food aid. The food that most refugees receive from this food aid is usually very basic. Without help, refugees in camps would suffer from hunger and malnutrition. The food which most refugees receive comes from donations, usually surplus supplies such as grains and dried beans and maize. There is limited fruit and veg and as a result, children do not get enough vitamins and nutrients. This means that they suffer from stunted growth and malnutrition. This makes them more likely to catch diseases and become ill. It is important that refugee children have access to medical help like all children, it is best for them to receive regular checkups and vaccinations, to make sure that their health is fine and that they are growing as they should. This is difficult to achieve in a refugee camp as there are often not enough hospitals or doctors and nurses to treat all the inhabitants. In some camps, doctors and nurses are having to train some refugees as medical helpers. Internally displaced people There are also close to 6 million Internally Displaced People (IDP) within Syria. These are people who have been forced to flee from their homes for the same reasons as a refugee, but have not left their own country. Unlike refugees, IDP are not protected by international law or eligible to receive many types of aid. SOS Children s Villages is one of the last organisations left in Aleppo, supporting IDP in the city, with a safe space for children to have some respite from the conflict. SOS is working across Syria to support IDP, helping displaced families, providing them with things like milk, clean water, and more.

7 Resource: Refugees what s the difference? Write your answers in the spaces below. What is the one difference between refugees and you and me? What events do you think could have happened to cause a person to flee and leave everything behind? What types of experience might refugees endure during their escape? How would you feel if you were a refugee who had to leave your home, family and possessions behind and live in another country?

8 Resource: Refugees problems and solutions Use this interactive and thought provoking sheet to help high level students understand the numerous difficulties faced by those living in refugee camps and by those who organise them. Get students to write down their solutions next to the problems listed below (Or, for lower ability or younger students, complete this activity as a whole class) Sheet objectives: Show students just how difficult it is to a) organise a refugee camp and b) how hard it is to live in one Get students to think independently Help students develop problem solving skills Getting more out of the sheet: Go around the class and ask for different students solutions. Ask them to explain and justify their solutions

9 Refugees problems and solutions Imagine you are the director of a charity helping to organise a refugee camp in Lebanon, Jordan or Iraq for Syrian refugees. It is your job to identity the problem and try and come up with solutions to some of the big issues facing families and children in the refugee camp. This challenge is designed to be thought provoking, getting you to appreciate the difficulties associated with living in, and running, refugee camps. Despite charities organising food packages for people, there is not enough food for everyone and children are becoming malnourished. Families have very little money and have to send their children out to work in order to survive. One 12 year-oldboy spends his days selling crisps instead of playing and learning. Solutions e.g. Persuade governments across the world to increase their contributions to food aid and make sure that there is as much specially fortified food for children and babies available as possible. Children no longer attend school because there is no money. Any money there is must be spent on food and other basic essentials. With lots of people living close together limited access to sanitation and clean drinking water means that infectious diseases and illnesses spread fast. Security is an issue, with crime and disorder spreading. Some children are even being recruited by armed groups.

10 Resource: SOS Children s Villages helping Syrian refugees

11 Pair up the cards Providing more than 60,000 meals to displaced families in Damascus and Aleppo So that Syria s most vulnerable children are well looked after and loved Running the My right to education programme, helping get children registered for school, arranging to pay school fees and providing back-to-school kits So that children are able to overcome the trauma they have experienced and move on with their lives Providing children with psychological support To make sure that babies and young children get the nutrients vital for their healthy growth Stepping up emergency relief, including food packages and medical care To help children who haven t been to school in two years continue their education and have the opportunity to continue their development Continuing to provide everyday care for the children who live in the SOS Children s Villages in Damascus (Qodsaya) & Aleppo To help people have at least one hot meal a day Providing infant milk to mothers as prices soar So that families have their basic rights met

12 Resource: Case studies Case study 1 Fear is the trademark of our daily life" - how Syrian families try to survive (adapted from original article by Carole Alfarah). Mohamed (46) and Amani (31) have four children: Rama (14), Lana (11), Shahed (6) and Zakaraia (4). Today, Mohamed is unemployed. He worked in an embroidery workshop in Damascus - and lost his job following the war in Syria. For 6 months now I have had no job. My family recently escaped from our home. Every day there was shooting and random shelling. One night, when the fighting was very close, I hid my family in the bathroom. All night, we lay on the floor full of fear. As a father, my duty is to protect my family and to provide them with care and support, but how can I reassure and comfort? I did not know what to do in this situation. A few months ago, there was a huge explosion in Kazaz where Mohamed s daughters go to school. They were in school that day. I will never forget the moment of the explosion; the sound was so strong. When I read in the news that it took place in Kazaz, all that came into my mind was: Rama and Lana, my daughters! I left home, ran towards the school screaming, 'Please God, protect my daughters!' Since that day my daughters fear going to school. Today we live with the family of my wife in the Naher Aysheh area and it is not a secure area either, but we don't have any other choice. Everything is unknown and uncertain. I can't send my daughters to school, I am too worried. We used to live in peace, we never needed anyone's support." Lana, the eleven-year-old, says: "I love going to school but none of my friends wants to go there because of the explosions, even my sister, she is often very scared. I want to go back home, it is the only place where I feel comfortable."

13 Case study 2 Children in Damascus have become so accustomed to the loud sounds of rocket fire and the sight of smoke rising in the distance, that they no longer take notice, said Tommy Standún from SOS Children s Villages. Tommy is one the few Europeans to witness the current reality facing displaced families as they prepare for Ramadan in the Syrian capital. The moment he arrived in Hamza and Abbas Mosque, he heard a loud blast. In spite of the shattering noise created by a rocket that has just exploded within a kilometre of the mosque, a little girl does not let go of the toy doll she holds tightly. The head of the mosque shows how some of Syria s displaced people live. Many families are living in the mosque. Mattresses cover the available floor space. Men and boys sleep in one room while women, girls and babies share a similar room at the opposite side of the mosque. People try their best to keep their own small areas as clean and tidy as possible. It is important for them to keep their dignity. In a small kitchen volunteers prepare up to 500 meals every day. They feed the families living in the mosque as well as other people desperate for food. The price of infant milk and staple foods is very high and people cannot afford to buy food. Another rocket explodes. Byan only went to school for 1 month this year. Her dream of becoming a teacher is fading. She has just found out that she has failed her exams. Her parents are desperate to get her and her brothers and sisters back to school because they understand the importance of education. Holding her one-year-old baby in her arms, her mother hopes that Byan can catch up in September but the fighting continues.

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