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02.08.2017 - News

Halfway through 2017: already three big wins for children

Halfway through the year, summer is a good time to take a look in the rear-view mirror. We can already see three successes, three milestones which are reinforcing our determination to achieve even more in 2017 to improve children’s lives.

A new centre in Iraq for children and their families fleeing fighting

Despite particularly dangerous conditions, our 150 employees in Iraq work as close as possible to the frontline. We take calculated risks in order to meet the needs of children and their families who have been forced to flee fighting. Terre des hommes opened two reception centres in Al-Sherqat, which can accommodate hundreds of families.

After escaping the hands of the so-called Islamic State, this is the first safe place families reach after crossing the Tigris river into safety. Arriving hungry and exhausted, they are immediately given bottled water and a place to stay overnight. Their journey doesn’t end here as some days later, they continue their ways. In the meantime, 600 children daily are supported with psychological activities and informal education. This is the first time in years that they are able to play and laugh again.

Since the beginning of this operation, the largest one in a humanitarian context in our organisation’s history, we have been able to assist over 400,000 victims of the conflict.

In Gaza, our advocacy work has paid off

A few lines have the power to change lives. After months of pressure and advocacy work in Gaza, Terre des hommes secured the release of eleven boys between the ages of 11 and 17 who were arrested for minor offences. These include Khaled, 16, imprisoned during five months for stealing two water jerrycans from his employer who had refused to pay him. Our efforts allowed him and the ten other boys to be released and to benefit from a professional training course. This is the first time the formal system and ultimately a judge signed on an official document indicating that children would receive a vocational training instead of detention.

Supporting forgotten refugees along the Balkan route

Some crises are hidden by others. Refugees continue to face the consequences of border closures along the Balkan route, despite the drop in media coverage since 2016. Some migrants have been stuck in transit centres for several months in extremely precarious conditions. Tdh runs operations at strategic points near borders, providing psychological assistance to children left distressed by their journeys. Our mobile team helped in protecting children and their families along the route. Tdh’s teams have provided support to more than 1500 people.

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Photo credit: ©Tdh