GAZIANTEP, TURKEY— Syrian war orphans fleeing their country are usually deeply traumatized. But as a stream of refugees makes its way through Europe, some orphans say the death of one child could mean a better life for others.
If you ask the children at this orphanage what they want in the future there is one consistent answer. They want to return to Syria.
But in the meantime, caretakers said many of the children here were severely traumatized. Haila did not want her face on camera because her family is still in Syria.
“It takes a long time for their minds to heal, and it needs professionals. The second problem, which I think is more important is the problem with education,” said Haila.
The trauma is evidenced in artwork, where children draw their homes with airstrikes overhead.
And some children fight the horror with a dream of an entirely new life in Europe, like the hundreds of thousands of people trying to flee there.
“I saw on the Internet that there was a little child who drowned in the sea. And because of this boy, they are going to send big boats for us,” said Rawan.
Adults say there’s almost no chance Europe will send boats to fetch people trying to enter Europe illegally.
But, they say, the public outcry over their ordeal has awakened the world to the plight of these children and the uncertain future they face.