Syrian refugee children: A story in 23 photos

Syria refugee crisis: 5.1 million people have fled Syria's civil war as refugees, straining the region's ability to cope and to care for the needs of displaced children.

If you could see through eyes of a Syrian refugee child, what would life look like? In this informal tented settlement in Lebanon, we asked children to show us. These are the scenes they wanted to share.

A family gathers around a small fire of burning trash at the edge of a tent settlement. It’s cold in the late afternoon. This family burns trash — most of it plastic — to stay warm. Until the weather warms up and they can work in the fields and orchards, they don’t have enough to eat. (©2016 World Vision/photo by Jon Warren)

 

Many Syrian families live in informal tented settlements in Lebanon. It’s hard for them to stay warm, dry, and clean. (©2016 World Vision/Jon Warren) Many Syrian families live in informal tented settlements in Lebanon. It’s hard for them to stay warm, dry, and clean. (©2016 World Vision/photo by Jon Warren)

 

Pray with us for refugees and those affected by the violence in Syria, which has displaced millions of families and killed innocent children. This mom, Heven, tries to watch out for her other children while she cares for baby Hasan. He is almost 2 months old. (© 2016 World Vision/photo by Jon Warren)

 

Children roam in packs through the informal tented settlement. They stomp through the mud and try to stay out of the grown-ups’ way. (©2016 World Vision/photo by Jon Warren)

 

Syrian refugee boys play on a car in a tent settlement in Lebanon ©2016 World Vision / Photo by Jon Warren Until an adult chases them away, boys climb on top of an abandoned car and jump off. They don’t have a ball field or even a ball to play with. (©2016 World Vision/photo by Jon Warren)

 

Kids fighting over a box. These guys stole a box and turned it into a car, then they fought over it. When they tear it apart, someone will take it away to sell. Lots of kids collect cardboard and cans to sell. (©2016 World Vision/photo by Jon Warren)

 

Syrian refugee child holds doll ©2016 World Vision/photo by Jon Warren Recently escaped from militia held territory, Syrian refugee girl, Rahaff, 5, holds her doll in an informal tented settlement in Bakaa, Lebanon. (©2016 World Vision/photo by Jon Warren)

 

Mohammed’s mom and dad were killed in Syria. His grandma, uncles, and cousins take care of him, but he’s still afraid. He’s not quite 3, but he says that most of all he wants a bike. (©2016 World Vision/photo by Jon Warren)

 

Syrian refugee kids help mom with the cooking fire ©2016 World Vision / Photo by Jon Warren Moms cook and wash using water heated on a fire outside the tent. Sometimes kids help feed the fire or just play around it. (©2016 World Vision/photo by Jon Warren)

 

Syrian refugee boys playing war games with fake gun. These boys play war games every day. Mohammed, the younger brother is 4. He was just a baby when his family came here after his neighborhood was bombed. (©2016 World Vision/photo by Jon Warren)

 

Ali, a Syrian refugee boy in the Bekaa Valley of Lebanon, sells tissues on the busy Beirut-to-Damascus road. The sole wage-earner of his family, he makes at most 4 USD a day, which goes toward rent and other family expenses. He is often harassed as he stands on the roadside. He and his family live in Rajab Informal Tented Settlement. Ali works to support the family and doesn’t attend school.Ali, 13, is their older brother. He sells tissues on the Damascus highway so his family can pay rent. He tries to be a tough guy, but sometimes he cries when people on the street say ugly things to him. (©2016 World Vision/photo by Jon Warren)

 

Children who go to the World Vision Child-Friendly Space teach the other kids games. Children in education programs have cool backpacks with pens and workbooks. (©2016 World Vision/photo by Jon Warren)

 

Syrian refugee children riding bus ©2016 World Vision/Jon Warren Children are excited to ride the bus to the Child-Friendly Space. (©2016 World Vision/photo by Jon Warren)

 

They wear crowns, have their faces painted, sing songs, and dance. (©2016 World Vision/photo by Jon Warren)

 

Teacher and students at a World Vision Child-Friendly Space for Syrian refugee children in Lebanon. Photo ©2016 World Vision/Jon Warren At circle time, Miss Huda gives everyone a chance to speak. That’s the way to show respect she says. (©2016 World Vision/photo by Jon Warren)

 

Twin girls at computer Computers are part of the fun at an early childhood education program for children age 3 to 6. They study so they’ll be ready to go to a Lebanese school when they’re 7. (©2016 World Vision/photo by Jon Warren)

 

Boy dances at childrens center When Thaer starts to dance, students and teachers start to clap and beat time. When he first came to the children’s center, he was depressed all the time. His dad is in prison in Syria. Now he’s among friends who make each other feel better. (©2016 World Vision/photo by Jon Warren)

 

Syrian refugee children draw (©2016 World Vision/photo by Jon Warren) In the Child-Friendly Space, children draw pictures to tell their stories, hopes, and dreams. Red hearts mean love and peace. (©2016 World Vision/photo by Jon Warren)

 

Syrian refugee children play tug of war ©2016 World Vision/Jon Warren Pull hard! Miss Huda and Miss Bassima teach boys and girls how to compete and still be friends who care for each other. (©2016 World Vision/photo by Jon Warren)

 

Children singing at child friendly space ©2016 Jon Warren | World Vision. “If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands!” sing all the children, especially Yasmin (in red). She tries to remember every word so she can teach songs to her brothers and cousins when she goes home. (©2016 World Vision/photo by Jon Warren)

 

Which is the right hand? Miss Wafaa leads her group playing follow the leader. The children’s center just opened near their tents, and they are all excited to learn. (©2016 World Vision/photo by Jon Warren)

 

Young Syrian refugee children learn to count at a refugee camp in Lebanon. Samira, 5, (in red) is learning to count in English and Arabic. (©2016 World Vision/photo by Jon Warren)

 

Help Syrian refugees like Rahaff, 5, who escaped from Syria five months ago. Rahaff, 5, escaped from Syria with her mother and younger brother. She is making friends and learning at the children’s center. (©2016 World Vision/photo by Jon Warren)

How to help Syrian refugee children

Learn more about the Syrian refugee crisis by reading our FAQs: What is it? When did it start? Why are Syrians fleeing their homes? How is the war affecting children? How can I help those affected and show them God’s love?

Pray with us for refugee children and displaced families in Syria.

Refugees

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Pastor and humanitarian Eugene Cho visited Syrian refugee tented settlements in Lebanon and Iraq with World Vision.
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Podcast with pastor and humanitarian Eugene Cho

This podcast, listen to an interview with blogger Kristen Howerton (Rage Against the Minivan) who recently traveled to Iraq and Lebanon with World Vision.
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Middle East

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Pastor and humanitarian Eugene Cho visited Syrian refugee tented settlements in Lebanon and Iraq with World Vision.
Voices

Podcast with pastor and humanitarian Eugene Cho

This podcast, listen to an interview with blogger Kristen Howerton (Rage Against the Minivan) who recently traveled to Iraq and Lebanon with World Vision.
Voices

Podcast with blogger Kristen Howerton (Rage Against the Minivan)