20:40 GMT +323 September 2019
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    Syrian refugee children play at Al Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan

    'Children Paying the Price for Syrian War' - Scottish Charity

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    The war in Syria has led to millions of people, men, women and children leaving their homes and going to countries such as Lebanon, Jordan and Europe. Many of those who have left war-torn Syria are families, with young children, who have been wounded psychologically by the conflict.

    A charity, Scottish Catholic International Aid Fund is helping young Syrian refugees, offering psychological support to help them overcome the trauma of war. 

    SCIAF is working with the children by providing one-to-one counselling that will enable them to hopefully leave their troubled past behind. Val Morgan, Communications Manager for SCIAF told Sputnik that children pay the highest price in war.

    ​"The children are encouraged to draw and if they feel comfortable — they can explain what they have drawn and hopefully it creates some distance between what they have been through and where they are now," Mr. Morgan told Sputnik.

    Mr. Morgan who recently visited Lebanon said that the children are using puppets to communicate what happened to them in Syria.

    "We get the children to make puppets, which take on different personas. So instead of them saying 'This is what happened to me,' the children can speak in the third person and say 'This is what happened to Sarah.' It helps them overcome the past but also explain the hurt of the war," Mr. Morgan told Sputnik.

    Mr. Morgan explains that the war has led to more than just loss of life. Many children have lost their homes, they have had to flee from what is familiar and they have witnessed people dying.

    "It's very difficult to imagine, the experiences of what these children have been through are hard to listen to. The conflict itself is an absolute nightmare: there are an estimated 3 million children not in education due to the war. In Lebanon alone there are 4.9 million refugees — that's almost the population of Scotland. Its children who are paying the price for this war," Mr. Morgan told Sputnik.

    ​As a result of their work with children, Mr. Morgan reports that many of the young refugees who first came to SCIAF were deeply troubled and traumatised. They were suffering from nightmares and were wetting the bed. The counselling however has given them the opportunity to fully express themselves.

    "Whether the children will be able to fully recover is another question, but we are trying to help. The psychologists have indicated that many children are recovering. One child came to them and was suicidal but now they are not," Mr. Morgan told Sputnik.


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