Emergency response for thousands of refugee children

What do you do when a wave of violence hits you and everyone around you? You try to get to safety.

That’s precisely what more than 200.000 refugees from Burundi did. Since April 2015, the capital in Bujumbura rural province is the scene of severe unrest and outbursts of violence. Conflict about the presidential elections, as we reported in May, claimed victims and caused a state of fear among citizens. A massive exodus of people, including a staggering amount of children, has moved to neighbouring countries such as Tanzania, Rwanda and DR Congo. But moving away from the violence in their own country does not equal actual safety for the thousands of children.

Between a rock and a hard place
Refugee camps in South Kivu, DR Congo, are in dire state as they try to support over 13.000 refugees. Children make up 66% of the population in the camp, many of them under the age of twelve years old. War Child DRC started psychosocial and educational activities to help these children deal with the trauma they’ve experienced.

In an emergency situation, it takes more than a blanket to help a child cope with their loss and the violence they’ve faced.

Having left behind their house, and often their family and friends, thousands of children have fled their country without the protection of a guardian. While DR Congo may seem like a safer place, away from conflict in Burundi, it actually is a country torn by its own problems and track record of violence. Armed conflict, corrupt governments, and a battle with other countries is only part of the hell that Congolese children live in.

Emergency response 
Now, thousands of Burundian refugee children find themselves in the same predicament as they land in Congo. They're stuck between a rock and a hard place. That's why War Child set up an emergency response programme to provide direct psychosocial support. In order to act as quickly and effectively as possible, War Child recently participated in a Child Protection Rapid Assessment with Save The Children and Terre Des Hommes. Efforts like these ensure that we can offer children the support they need in case of an emergency.

Because no child should be part of war. Ever.

Help War Child continue to provide emergency support to Burundian refugees. Donate now!