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A girl showing her drawing to camera
5 February 2020

Raja's story

Child-friendly space keeps children safe in Iraq

Raja, 10, lives in Mosul, Iraq. She was badly injured by a bomb during the conflict in Mosul. She tragically lost her left hand and her legs were injured leaving her unable to walk.

“There was fighting and bombs everywhere all around, I ran from my home terrified. That’s when the bomb fell beside me. I remember lying on the ground and I looked at my hand bleeding and there was blood coming from my stomach,” says Raja.

Raja is currently receiving support through a Child-Friendly Space. This has been set up to give children a safe place to play, learn, and recover from what they’ve been through. Children come to the Child-Friendly Space to receive emotional support and take part in activities like painting and sports.

Raja now dreams of becoming a doctor when she grows up.

I’d like to be a doctor, so that I can be like the doctor who helped me and help others too.


Age 10, from Iraq

Iraq’s political instability makes it one of the world’s most fragile contexts, creating an environment which is dangerous for children and leaves families displaced in camps.

Your support reaches out to children like Raja when they’re at their most vulnerable. You’re helping them to heal and giving them real hope for the future.


What is a Child-Friendly Space?

• Child-Friendly Spaces are used to support and protect children. Children are extremely vulnerable during conflict and in the aftermath of a disaster, both emotionally and physically.

• These environments provide children with a safe place to play, the opportunity to learn about their rights and experience healing from any trauma they’ve experienced.

Raja showing a drawing to camera.
Raja now attends a child friendly space where she can interact with other children.
Raja in her wheelchair
Raja tragically lost her arm and her legs were injured leaving her unable to walk.
Raja smiling in her wheelchair
With your help, Raja received a wheelchair and medical treatment.

What's happening

• Approximately 1.4 million people are displaced within the country.
• Due to prolonged conflict, 4.1 million people need aid.
• Critical needs include lack of livelihood and sustainable income and shelter.

How children are affected

• It's estimated that 1.8 million children are in need of basic essentials such as food and shelter.
• Children's physical and mental health has been badly affected.
• Violence against children is extensive and is affecting their social and emotional well-being.

How you are helping

• More than 272,000 people have received essential supplies such as food, water and hygiene kits.
• 1,167 children have received psychological and social support.
• 400 water tanks have been installed in the camps to store clean water for drinking and cooking.

Help vulnerable children

You can protect children living in some of the most dangerous places