Children of Trauma and Syria’s ‘Lost Generation’

Video Created by: Starlene Soler


Fifty percent of children out of school all over the world are in conflict areas. Many children in these areas, in addition to being out of school, also experience high levels of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, domestic violence, and various behavioral problems.

After experiencing immense trauma in childhood, rebuilding a healthy and prosperous life is challenging but nevertheless possible. Andrew Lam, a Vietnamese refugee, explains that even when children are removed from the chaos of conflict, the violence they witness or that their families had witnessed still lives inside of them. Anyone who comes into contact with refugees or survivors – or even their children or grandchildren – must be sensitive to the intergenerational experiences of trauma.

The term “lost generation” is a common term used when it comes to Syria’s children. In many cases these are children that have family members who are still in Syria. These children are naturally concerned about their wellbeing, which may never be known. These are children of trauma – children who themselves discuss their futures which, to them, seem bleak and “now seem lost.”

Video Created by: Amanda Cundari

Child soldiers are also the victims of these traumatic conflicts, often manipulated by guerrillas into mass-murdering sprees and other war crimes. These children are sometimes promised a better life or the opportunity for justice to be theirs.

How can we support children of trauma and provide them with the best care possible? Whose job does it become to make sure they have a sense of safety and belonging in different environments?

“I want [these children] to live in an environment where they can grow healthy, whole, nothing lacking, nothing missing from them,” Martine Longchamp, Founder and CEO of Diakonos International. “Nothing broken, no brokenness. Just live.”

Written by: Jenay Smith

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