Importance of Health and Education for Refugee Children

by | May 29, 2018

When conflicts and wars strike, it is typically women and children who bear the brunt of the suffering. Not only do children have to face the trauma of being torn from their homes, friends, communities, and potentially their own families; but they also have to face an uncertain future in which their opportunities for healthcare and education are more precarious than ever. Like any healthy and happy child around the world, two of the biggest predictors of future success include the ability to pursue an education and access to quality healthcare. Health and education are integral to helping displaced children rebuild their lives and their communities both during and after the conflict.

According to the 1951 Refugee Convention, international law states that refugees should have access to health services equivalent to that of the host population. While the importance of health services are vital for all displaced people, it is children who are most vulnerable to the threat of malnutrition, death, and disease. In forcibly displaced populations in developing countries, the UNHCR states “that the top five killers of children under the age of five are malaria, malnutrition, measles, diarrhoea, and respiratory tract infections.” These are all preventable and treatable diseases and causes that can be addressed with proper health services, education, and infrastructure. One of the most effective ways to empower displaced peoples is to provide the access to health services, so that they are healthy enough to begin to rebuild their lives and communities.

In addition to healthcare, education is also vitally important to refugees and displaced peoples. In 2016, over 3.5 million refugee children were not able to attend school. Only 61% of refugee children attend primary school, and the percentage only decreases as the education level increases. Only 23% of refugee children attend secondary school, and only an eye opening 1% of refugee youth have the opportunity to attend university.

In a global economy where people from around the world have to compete for goods and services, refugee children are being left behind. Rather than being in school, many refugee and displaced children have no choice but to work odd jobs around the camp and outlying areas to help provide for their families and themselves. This leaves displaced children extremely vulnerable to exploitation and trauma, further deepening the chasm between those with access to healthcare and education and those without.

That’s where One Day’s Wages’ partnership with World Relief comes in. World Relief knows the importance of access to healthcare and education for displaced and refugee children, and that is why they have made these issues central to the work they do in South Sudan.

South Sudan is the world’s youngest country, and since its founding in 2011 has faced a series of conflicts and political instability which has resulted in over 2.4 million refugees. The United Nations established a refugee camp in Bentui, South Sudan in 2013 which is home to 10,000 displaced children. Due to rising violence many aid organizations have had to withdraw from the camp, further limiting access to vital services. World Relief maintains a presence at the Bentui camp to this day in order to provide life saving enriched foods as well as investing in the education of children in the camp. Adequate nutrition and access to health services are key to ensure that children do not suffer long term developmental delays as a result of malnutrition, so World Relief provides enriched food and ongoing evaluation to thousands of malnourished children in Bentui. World Relief also provides access to early childhood and primary education for the camp’s children, allowing these children to have a chance to learn, play, and regain a sense of stability in their lives.

To learn more about One Day’s Wages’ partnership with World Relief and how you can make a difference in the lives of displaced children in Bentui, South Sudan check out this page.

Share this story: [shareaholic app=”share_buttons” id=”26108403″]

More stories of impact

3 Simple Actions to Break the Cycle of Poverty

3 Simple Actions to Break the Cycle of Poverty

I’m sure you’ve stumbled upon a picture of someone (most likely in Africa) malnourished in ragged clothes, a viral photo of a refugee, or a child killed by war. It is a particular kind of representation of poverty.“Poverty porn” is a term used to describe...

read more
Celebrating Girls’ Empowerment

Celebrating Girls’ Empowerment

Today, all around the globe, organizations and communities celebrate International Day of the Girl. This international day of awareness was created by the United Nations to recognize the global gender disparity that still exists and to honor the movements...

read more
Invest Monthly in Change

Invest Monthly in Change

We are all investors. Each decision we make devotes our time and resources to a cause. Five dollars for coffee contributes to our productivity. $10 a month towards Netflix provides us entertainment. $100 spent on a nice night out brings enjoyment. These...

read more
What’s the deal with Giving Tuesday, anyway?

What’s the deal with Giving Tuesday, anyway?

Hidden under the turkeys, pumpkin pies, and excitement of Black Friday sales, are the remnants of Thanksgiving Day. Thanksgiving is increasingly being commercialized as a time to buys things rather than a time to reflect on the gifts we already have and to express our...

read more
How Do We Stand With Refugees?

How Do We Stand With Refugees?

This month we’ve been really energized by collaboration, partnerships, and people taking action. There is a growing need to provide more relief resources for refugees around the world. Last weekend, we gathered together with our partners and community in...

read more

 

 

One Day's Wages is a grassroots movement of people, stories, and actions to alleviate extreme global poverty

©2019 One Day's Wages is a registered 501(c)(3) organization | Privacy policy | Terms of use

P.O. BOX 17575 Seattle, WA 98127 | Contact us