Refugees

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About a year ago, Bader was an average 15-year-old boy. Now, he's the man of the family, working to make ends meet.

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When 14-year-old Khaled left his home town Dara’a in the south of Syria nine months ago, life as he knew it ceased to exist.

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AMMAN (Nov. 15, 2013) Ahead of International Children's Day on November 20, CARE voices our concern about Syrian refugee families becoming increasingly reliant on child labor to meet basic survival needs such as food and rent. According to the latest Jordanian government estimates around 30,000 Syrian children are currently working in Jordan. The International Labor Organization warns that the number of child laborers in Jordan may be even higher. In Lebanon, at least 50,000 Syrian refugee children need to work to support their families.

Half of the world’s out-of-school children live in conflict-affected areas. Getting those children back to school can save their lives, their health – and their futures.

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Ali lies on the ground on a brown pillow with floral print. His eyes are open, but motionless. His skinny arms and legs feebly lie beside him, as if they were not part of his body. His mother Fawsa sits next to him, softly massaging his lower legs and caressing his head. Ali does not move. He does not blink, even though flies are making themselves comfortable on his eyelids. Fawsa’s gaze wanders through the small tent, which became their home a couple of days ago. Apart from a few mattresses and pillows, the room is empty. Fawsa’s other two sons are sitting in another corner of the room.

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When I met Zyad for the first time, he was registering himself in CARE’s refugee centre in Amman. He asked me whether he could tell me his story. He said he wanted the world to hear it.

To give Syrian refugees a louder voice amid a conflict whose political dimensions draw most of the world’s attention, American photographers Robert Fogarty and Ben Reece first gave them felt-tip markers. The refugees eagerly wrote messages to world leaders on their arms and hands. Then Reece and Fogarty, who travelled with CARE to Jordan in September 2013, photographed them.

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CARE calls for the immediate support of millions of Syrian refugees so they can protect themselves from the cold weather in the coming months.

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