National Leader for Protecting Children in Emergencies Expands Relief Programs for Afghan Children and Families in U.S., Establishes Child-Focused Spaces in West Texas Shelter
FAIRFIELD, Conn. (September 9, 2021) — With thousands of Afghan children and families arriving in western Texas as they seek refuge from escalating violence in their home country, Save the Children has established child-focused spaces at a large, temporary shelter in the region to support their most immediate needs. The nonprofit's relief programming in Texas expands upon its support of Afghan families at a transition shelter in northern Virginia, which has been operational since the first families began to arrive over two weeks ago.
Save the Children has set up private spaces for families with small babies at the west Texas shelter, where mothers and caregivers can change diapers and nurse their children. The nonprofit's emergency response staff have also established safe play and activity areas for kids, where kids can have a moment to be kids again, begin to express themselves and cope during this stressful time. Save the Children is also planning to open additional child-focused spaces throughout the large shelter in the coming week to support thousands of incoming children -- and is providing families essential supplies, such as diapers, wipes, portable cribs blankets and flashlights, as well as children's backpacks with learning materials and activities.
"Afghan children and their families are coming to America with nothing but the clothes on their backs, and many without even shoes on their feet -- they desperately need our help to begin to adjust to their new lives here in the U.S.," said Jeanne-Aimee De Marrais, Save the Children's senior director for U.S. Emergencies. "Save the Children has been protecting children in times of crisis like this for over a century, and is dedicated to ensuring Afghan children are safe and get the supports they need to recover from living a childhood in conflict."
Save the Children also stands ready to support at other temporary shelters opening up across the country to support refugee children and families, as well as provide essential child-focused items, including hygiene kits, diapers, wipes and COVID-prevention materials.
Save the Children is the national leader in protecting children in emergencies, and has been helping families in Afghanistan since 1976, including providing health, education, child protection, and nutrition and livelihoods services.
To support Save the Children's efforts to help Afghan children and families, please contribute to its Afghanistan Crisis Children's Relief fund.