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A child in Bangladesh holds a water tankard under her arms as she walks through a doorway
7 October 2020

Protecting childhoods during a crisis

How you're supporting children living in refugee camps

Becoming refugees overnight

Jannatul, 5, lives in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh, now home to what has become the world's largest refugee camp. Her life suddenly changed when violence erupted in her home in Myanmar. 

"They arrived at night and started shooting. They set fire to our homes and burned our community to the ground," recalls Salina, Jannatul's mother.

Terrified, Salina grabbed Jannatul and hid by a riverbank. Sadly, Jannatul's father and siblings were lost that night. 

At dawn, they joined thousands of fellow villagers fleeing to safety in Bangladesh. Now, in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, they face new dangers. They are starting over with nothing.

Without the means to support themselves, sadly, many refugee families resort to desperate measures. Women and girls are especially vulnerable to exploitation and child marriage.

A young refugee girl in Bangladesh shows off her drawing in a class
Thanks to you, children like Jannatul receive counselling and play therapy, helping them recover from their trauma and rebuild a future.

Support during coronavirus 

Together, we are providing life-saving assistance to families like Jannatul's, including access to clean water, supplementary food, and much needed daily hygiene items.

As you can imagine, in the midst of coronavirus, this help is needed more than ever, to keep families healthy and safe.

We're also providing counselling and play therapy to help children recover from their trauma and make sense of what they've lost, as well as education to help them look to the future.

With your help, we will continue to keep the world's most vulnerable children and their communities safe.

Together, we're keeping children safe

World Vision is ensuring that children are provided with access to healthcare, education and protection.

World Vision's global response has now reached almost 54 million people (including 24 million children) across over 70 countries.

Our goal is to limit the spread of coronavirus and reduce its impact on vulnerable children and their families.

Weaker healthcare and communication systems mean that the secondary impact of this virus on children living in some of the world's most dangerous places will be devastating.

Thanks to you, World Vision staff across the globe are continuing to scale up prevention where children are most at risk. With your help, we will continue to keep the world's most vulnerable children and their communities safe.

Every 60 seconds, World Vision is helping more than 200 people survive, recover and rebuild their lives from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Where is World Vision responding to the crisis?

World Vision is active in nearly 100 countries. When disaster strikes, we are active on the ground, quickly providing immediate support. We are responding in over 70 countries, aiming to reach 72 million people through a $350 million response, with a special focus where people are most vulnerable.

Some examples:

In Malawi, some communities still did not believe that they could contract COVID-19. After awareness campaigns were conducted, these communities are now adopting preventive measures like putting on face masks and washing of hands. World Vision has also provided PPE to health centres after some communities expressed concern over the lack of supplies.

In Vietnam, our staff have worked closely with local radio stations to disseminate vital knowledge and skills, helping to ensure communities stay safe.

Latin America & the Caribbean
In Brazil, hospital ship ‘Solidarity’ made its second trip along the Solimões River to reach vulnerable children and families. World Vision is visiting 12 communities, delivering aid to more than 500 families.

Middle East & Eastern Europe
In Lebanon, our rapid assessments after August’s explosion showed that food, shelter and hygiene items were urgently required and we were able to start distributions straight away. In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, personal protective equipment kits will also be required to prevent the virus spread and reduce the impact on an overstretched health system.


2. How is World Vision responding? 

Our response focuses on three key areas:

1. Promoting preventative measures to stop or slow the spread of COVID-19

We’re promoting hand washing and respiratory hygiene amongst communities and households, and both working with community health workers and volunteers and using digital channels to share the messages more widely. We have also been setting up public handwashing stations and distributing soap, sanitiser and masks where appropriate.

2. Supporting health systems and workers

We have been providing personal protective equipment (e.g. masks and gowns) and treatment supplies (e.g. thermometers); training and equipping community health workers to help with home care for the sick, to share stay-healthy messaging, and to help run isolation centres and transport for the sick.

3. Supporting children impacted by COVID-19

Education: Including, supporting authorities to ensure safe school operations (promoting procedures for staff and students that become unwell, information sharing and targeted age-specific health education), supporting children, families and teachers to continue education if schools are closed (e.g. home learning materials/activity packs).

Child Protection: Including, awareness-raising with Child Protection/social workers; preventing separation and stigmatisation of children and caregivers during treatment and isolation; psychological first aid for children and caregivers; monitoring and responding to increases in child labour, begging, abuse, sexual violence, or neglect.

Livelihoods: Including providing cash and vouchers, and distributing food and care packs for people in isolation.


3. How is World Vision positioned to help vulnerable children during this crisis? 

World Vision has a presence in almost 100 countries around the world. We work with the most vulnerable children and communities facing the challenges created by poverty and injustice.

Partnerships with faith leaders: Our work is inspired by our Christian faith, and our partnerships with faith and community leaders are critical as we join hands to strengthen preparedness, change behaviour and protect children and other vulnerable people.

Our Channels of Hope programme already equips faith leaders to support their communities when epidemics arise. Our experience with Ebola and Zika viruses has shown that when trusted faith leaders engage with their communities, real breakthroughs can be achieved in slowing the spread of disease.

We’re working alongside 7,000 faith leaders in 80 countries, sharing messages about prevention. And we know that this community approach is effective.

Child Sponsorship: Our Child Sponsorship model empowers communities to support vulnerable children and their families through sustainable approaches to build child well-being.

We employ local staff members and volunteers who usually live within or close to the communities where they work. They are seen as friends, confidants, encouragers and trustworthy partners which is vital during a pandemic response.

Our staff are working with their local communities to amplify prevention and control messages whilst supporting the protection of children. This may involve supporting education whilst schools are closed, preventing separation of children from their caregivers during treatment and isolation, and delivering livelihood activities and cash, food and care packs to people in isolation.


4. How are my donations to World Vision helping? 

Your donations are helping save and protect children in the world’s most dangerous places; wherever they are most needed. This includes preventing the spread of coronavirus and reaching children with remote learning and psychological support to help them recover from their trauma and rebuild a future.