- World count of refugees is more than 51 million – highest since World War II
- 3.2 million refugees have fled Syria
- 7.6 million Syrians are displaced within their country
- More than 43% of the entire population of Syria has been forced to flee
- 60% of refugees are young people
“There are no longer any children in my country. Even a four-year-old can tell you everything about war,” says one childcare worker in Syria. Children have seen their parents tortured or killed; they’ve lost siblings, friends, and whole support systems. Now many Syrians, and others from war-torn areas in the Middle East, live in over-crowded refugee camps with scarce resources, and even more are displaced and hiding within their own countries.
Curt Rhodes, founder and director of Questscope, is committed to helping vulnerable youth in the Middle East regain hope for the future. Lynne Hybels interviewed Rhodes about the vast and increasing numbers of refugees funneling from Syria and Iraq into Jordan and Lebanon, and the subsequent need for resources within the refugee camps. He says the best way to serve this population is to work alongside the refugees and community leaders who have been most affected. He says that if you truly want to help, you must “take off your savior coat” and let the people who know best – the refugees themselves – come up with the solutions. And the best way to help them is to provide the tools they need to succeed.
Willow’s goal is just that – to come alongside partners who are experts in their fields and are already on the ground working in these areas. Portions of funds from Celebration of Hope (COH) will support the efforts of our partners in the Middle East who are working to bring peace and restoration to an entire culture of people.
Visit our Peacemaking and Refugee booths in the Willow Creek Community Church lobby during COH to find out how you can get involved. Visit COH2015.willowcreek.org