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Save the Children supporting Afghan children arriving in Australia

Save the Children Australia has mobilised to provide 1,500 Afghan children and their parents with support packs as they arrive in Australian quarantine facilities this week.
02 September 2021
200 support packs have already been delivered to the Howard Springs quarantine facility in the Northern Territory, for children arriving from Afghanistan.
 
The leading children’s agency, with the support of the NT Government and donors, has carefully curated the support packs to cater to the needs of the children and their parents.
 
The contribution comes as Save the Children reinforces its call for the Australian Government to increase the humanitarian intake from Afghanistan to at least 20,000 people.
 
Deputy CEO and Director of International Programs for Save the Children Australia, Mat Tinkler said the organisation was proud to join the Australian community in welcoming the Afghan refugees.
 
“Families arriving from Afghanistan this week have had to leave most, if not all, of their belongings behind,” said Mr Tinkler.
 
“We want to ensure the children and their families have some items to call their own as they begin their new life in Australia.”
 
“We are pleased that the Australian Government has moved quickly to assist those fleeing Afghanistan, and hope that the support in the community and from organisations like ours means that many more can be warmly welcomed to Australia.”

 
The support packs have been created to suit 4 age ranges of children and include sensory toys, books, games and learning activities. The support packs also contain resources for parents, in Pashto and Dari, on how to interact and support their child through play, developed by Save the Children Afghanistan.
 
Save the Children State Director for NT and WA, Noelene Swanson said it was important to include sensory activities in the pack due to the trauma parents and their children have likely suffered.
 
“These children and their parents have been through a lot,” said Ms Swanson.
 
“The support packs have been expertly put together by our dedicated staff with that in mind. Sensory play is known to help calm a child who may be feeling angry or anxious.”
 
“Where possible the activities and toys will be packed into a backpack so the children and their families can easily take it with them when they leave quarantine.”

 
Save the Children has offered to provide trauma-informed services to Afghan children and their families over the coming months.
 
Save the Children is a world-leader in protecting children in emergencies and an independent and impartial organization that has worked and has been helping families in Afghanistan since 1976.
 
Save the Children has had to suspend the vast majority of its services in Afghanistan because of the instability of the situation but has committed to stay in the country and aims to resume its work as soon as it is safe to do so.
 
To support Save the Children’s efforts to help Afghan children and their families, please contribute to our Children’s Emergency Fund.
 
Save the Children has launched a petition in support of the sector-wide call for an additional humanitarian intake from Afghanistan and increased humanitarian aid.
 
ENDS
 
MEDIA CONTACT: Kimberley Gardiner 0437 435 777 or media.team@savethechildren.org.au

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