“Long road ahead” for Mosul’s children after city re-taken from ISIL

Children’s lives have been shattered after years of ISIL control in Mosul – and many will need time to heal from untold violence, World Vision warns today.  Teams of specialist social workers from the aid agency continue to provide emotional support to children in camps outside the city at Child Friendly Spaces.  The aid agency is also helping to rebuild schools inside Mosul and support teachers, so children can re-start their education.  Ian Dawes, Response Manager for World Vision Iraq, said:  “While some people see this as the end of a crisis, the work is really just beginning. The lives of children and their families have been torn apart after years of ISIL rule and months of fighting to retake the city. The level of destruction on all levels is immense.  “Before people return home, there will need to be reconstruction of homes and the most basic infrastructure like water and electricity while communities will also be in dire need of healing and reconciliation so that displaced people can return to their communities in peace. As well as supporting children in camps outside Mosul, we’re working in the city to renovate schools and empower teachers so children have the infrastructure as well as emotional support they will need to get back to restart their education, to have some normalcy in their lives.  “There’s a sense of hope for the future but, as our teams of social workers in the camps see every day, children have been through a great deal and it will take time to recover from the emotional and psychological impacts of the violence they have witnessed.  There’s still a long road ahead. “And while Mosul may no longer be under ISIL control, other areas of Iraq have not yet been re-taken with thousands living in areas such as Hawija. World Vision continues to support these families with medical care, safe spaces for children and support to their educational system until they too are able to safely return to their homes.” The aid agency has been supporting families since the beginning of the military offensive to retake Mosul last October, and continues to work extensively across the Kurdish Region of Iraq. Last year World Vision supported more than 1.7 million people in the region.