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Supporting Sierra Leone's young landslide victims

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By Euronews
Supporting Sierra Leone's young landslide victims

<p>With hundreds of people dead and missing in Sierra Leone’s landslides, many children have been left with nothing and no-one.</p> <p>Suffering deep trauma and loss, they need to feel safe, cared for and not alone.</p> <p>Aid workers are doing what they can with activities and psychological support provided by specialists to youngsters who have been through so much.</p> <p>“A lot of these children have been through a very traumatic experience and the flooding, and the landslides has likely had a huge impact on them. So this allows them to receive psycho-social support from trained facilitators and that means they’ve got someone to be able to talk to, to express any problems or issues they are facing. And also, as part of that, providing a more normal, friendly environment for them,” said UNICEF’s Chief of the Child Protection unit, James Gray. </p> <p><br /> </p> <p><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="fr"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">200+ children sheltering at the Don Bosco centre in <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Freetown?src=hash">#Freetown</a> after the landslide. <a href="https://twitter.com/UNICEF">@UNICEF</a> supplies inc. tents, blankets & games <a href="https://twitter.com/DFID_UK">@DFID_UK</a> <a href="https://t.co/bANZtjV10r">pic.twitter.com/bANZtjV10r</a></p>— UNICEF Sierra Leone (@UNICEFSL) <a href="https://twitter.com/UNICEFSL/status/899688839089979393">21 août 2017</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script></p> <p><br /> </p> <p>At least 150 children are thought to have died in this month’s flooding and mudslides near Freetown, the capital of one of the world’s poorest countries which is still reeling from the Ebola crisis.</p> <p>For the boys and girls who survived Sierra Leone’s landslide tragedy, the future won’t be easy which is all the more reason why the chance to talk and play is so precious.</p> <p>Harry Kpange, from the Sierra Leone Family Home Movement, a Christian <span class="caps">NGO</span>, is one of the volunteers at the trauma support centre tent in the devastated town of Regent. </p> <p>“We feel relieved in doing our job with these kids because we want to see them happy, we want to see them safe,” he said.</p> <p><br /> </p> <p><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="fr"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Despite a tragic week in <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Freetown?src=hash">#Freetown</a> we still found smiles outside our child friendly space, just opened in the landslide-hit Regent community <a href="https://t.co/d9u2afPT5T">pic.twitter.com/d9u2afPT5T</a></p>— UNICEF Sierra Leone (@UNICEFSL) <a href="https://twitter.com/UNICEFSL/status/898830662102167553">19 août 2017</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script></p> <p><br /> </p> <p>The challenge ahead is immense.</p> <p><span class="caps">UNICEF</span> has described the scale of the damage as “unprecedented”, adding that children have been left homeless, vulnerable, terrified and in need of protection from disease and exploitation. </p> <p><br /> </p> <p><em>with Reuters</em></p>