With war comes desperation. Currently, ISIS has displaced or killed 11 million Syrians, leaving families in desperate situations as they look to survive. What does this mean for what has become known as a “lost generation” of children? It makes children vulnerable to extremism. As of a 2016 report, there are well over 1,500 young people that ISIS has enlisted to fight.
With war comes desperation. Currently, ISIS has displaced or killed 11 million Syrians, leaving families in desperate situations as they look to survive.1 What does this mean for what has become known as a “lost generation” of children?
It makes children vulnerable to extremism. As of a 2016 report, there are well over 1,500 young people that ISIS has enlisted to fight.2 There are still thousands more that are being indoctrinated by the militant group who could then become recruits. With war in the Middle East, terrorism becomes a dangerously attractive profession for the next generation as they seek security, love, and acceptance.
Yet, together we are changing the statistics. This year has been a successful year as our programs continue to impact the lives of children across the Middle East.
Children, like Amira, are finding hope. Amira lives in Syria and, despite the bombings and violence, she continues to watch SAT-7 KIDS to find hope. She wrote in to ask for books offered by our program Bedtime Stories. With your help, we were able to respond to requests like Amira’s; SAT-7 sent her a story book. Later, she wrote us back to say, “I was delighted when I received your gifts…I received your gifts on a special day. Yes, that day was my birthday and I felt that Jesus was sending me a message through this gift. I believe that Jesus loves me so much!…Please remember me and my family in your prayers.” Through SAT-7, children living in war zones are finding hope and peace.
Then there are children like David in Syria. After watching Let’s Sing Together, a children’s program dedicated to worshiping the Lord, David wrote to express his love, “I don’t watch any other channel but you because you are the best. You tell us what to do in our daily life.” Because of the love he sees through SAT-7, David and countless other children are finding an alternative to the violence all around them. They are choosing to love rather than hate.
These results are unprecedented. As children grow up, they continue to watch SAT-7 and apply the lessons in SAT-7 programs to their lives. This includes people like Esin. Esin is an eighteen year old who has found guidance, love, and hope through the programs she has watched since she was a child. “Thank you because this program was part of my mental, spiritual, religious and social development!” Children are seeing a brighter future as they overcome radicalization, violence, and fear.
Together, we can overcome the hate, fear, and violence of groups like ISIS. We are countering extremism. Join us in celebrating as we continue to rejoice in the blessings and victories God has provided!
1 Mercy Corps
2 Huffington Post
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© 2016 SAT-7