SavetheChildrenUK38 karma2015-09-25 12:33:47 UTC
Alice: I got back just last night and am still very tired but trying to precess everything. I woke up feeling very moved by all the children I met and their troubling stories of fleeing war in countries like Syria, only to face physical and emotional struggle in Europe, rejection, occasional xenophobia and uncertainty at what lies ahead. While it is indeed difficult to hear people complaining about things in their life that might seem minor, it is all relative. We cannot blame someone complaining about their wage if that is what is important to them in their life and they have not been exposed to the stories of suffering from children and their families that Save the Children staff are dealing with on a daily basis, so I try to be patient with them. But it also means we have a job to do in ensuring that the stories are reported in the media and done so accurately, so that we can raise awareness amongst the general population of what is really happening and dispel any untrue or unfair myths about refugees.
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SavetheChildrenUK36 karma2014-10-15 14:27:39 UTC
To some extent being in the middle of it you have to trust the impressions of organisations like the UN and the WHO - I can only see a very small piece of the jigsaw. But the district I write this from, which includes the capital Freetown, recently became the district with the most cases in Sierra Leone, overtaking the epicentre of the outbreak. The cases are going up every day here and if Ebola takes hold in this densely populated city of 1 million+ people then it could be catastrophic and incredibly difficult to stop. So in that respect yes this very much feels like a tipping point and so long as the cases keep going up - more than 100 in the last 2 days in Sierra Leone - it's beating us.
SavetheChildrenUK31 karma2014-10-15 14:50:40 UTC
That's a really good question. We're in the process of helping set up a treatment centre near Freetown - when that opens it will be the start of Save the Children treating people here. The treatment centre is an incredibly hazardous environment. One slip up or mistake can cost lives so we have to work within very strict and careful parameters. But of course the suits and the protocols and everything that goes with them, not to mention the disease itself, will be very frightening for children, so we need to find ways to comfort them. We are working at the moment to see how best to do that in the treatment centre - plans are developing every day and i have just asked our protection experts what the latest is. I'll post on here when i know more.
SavetheChildrenUK25 karma2015-09-25 12:33:20 UTC
Dot: The UN, who have been tracking who is entering Europe on this route, says that 86% of those arriving so far in 2015 are from the top 10 refugee producing countries in the world - 54% are from Syria alone which is in it's 5th year of a brutal conflict that has killed hundreds of thousands of people. Therefore we are confident that the majority of these people have legitimate asylum claims and are not economic migrants. Lots of the people we have spoken to have relatives in northern Europe which is why they wish to continue their journey onwards.
SavetheChildrenUK20 karma2014-10-15 15:08:50 UTC
This is a really key issue. You're right that some children have been shunned and stigmatised by their communities and families, and of course it's that the time when they are most vulnerable. We support an interim care centre in Kailahun, which is the epicentre of the outbreak in Sierra Leone. It's a place where children who have been made orphans, or whose parents have Ebola, can stay in a caring environment. But crucially, that mustn't be the end of their journey. We then work with their families and communities to dispell some of the fear and myths that surround Ebola, so that the children can return to a loving, protective environment. We have encountered families who were really afraid for these children to return, and worked with them sensitively until they welcome them back.
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