Invisible wounds: Amena’s story

Amena, 5

Every day, children are fleeing for their lives after seeing their homes destroyed and their loved ones killed. These refugee children have been largely ignored by the world and are struggling to survive. On the move for weeks at a time, they are tired, sick, hungry and desperate for help. Many end up on dangerously overcrowded boats bound for Europe. It’s a terrible risk, but there’s often no other choice if these children hope to live.

Last year alone, more than 800 refugee children escaped the horrors of war, only to drown in the Mediterranean Sea. In response to this horrific and preventable tragedy, Save the Children invested in a new search and rescue vessel that has so far saved more than 400 children from drowning at sea.

One of these children is 5-year-old Amena.* Her family struggled to get by in Syria – Amena’s father couldn’t find work and his daughter’s medical costs alone were 100 Syrian pounds a day. He made the decision to bring his family to Europe, putting their lives in the hands of smugglers who lied and stole from them.

On the journey, the boat was overcrowded and the engine failed. Meanwhile, Amena’s oxygen, which she needed to breathe, had run out. By the time her family was rescued, Amena’s situation was so serious she was airlifted to a hospital in Italy. One doctor said she may not have survived another hour without help.

Now safe with her family and far from harm, it’s hard to imagine that she was recently saved from certain death at sea. Watch Amena’s dramatic rescue and learn how you can help give forgotten and desperate children like Amena the chance to grow up healthy, educated and safe.

More than half of all refugees are children like Amena. They have been terrorized. They are not terrorists.

President Trump’s recent refugee ban places children who are fleeing for their lives at great risk. You can help these children by using your voice today.

Urge your members of Congress to oppose this ban.

*Child’s name changed for protection.