Samantha Hayes meets Syrian refugees

Samantha Hayes meets Syrian refugees

Samantha met with Khelfa, and two of her children.

15th March 2019, marked the eighth anniversary of the start of the Syrian conflict. Newshub anchor Samantha Hayes travelled to Lebanon and Jordan with World Vision New Zealand's National Director, Grant Bayldon to see the devastating impact eight years of war has on Syrian refugee children and their families.

Millions of Syrians have been forced to leave their country to escape the fighting. But they’ve ended up in other harsh environments, refugee camps or informal tent settlements, or living in poverty in urban areas.

Samantha visited Zaátari refugee camp in Jordan and some of the informal tent settlements in Bekaa Valley Lebanon. She saw first hand World Vision's work in action, how we’re feeding children who don’t have enough to eat, sending them to school, and helping to keep them safe.

She also wanted to meet with as many children as possible. “I wanted their perspective on the war,” Samantha says, “I thought by telling their stories, people back home might reconnect with the tragedy that had in many ways become old news.” 

Samantha talks with Mohammed (left) and Omar (centre).

"The children I met at Zaátari refugee camp made me smile,” Samantha says “They're just like Kiwi kids - but after watching them play and laugh they told me their stories, and what they said was heartbreaking. Seven-year-old Mohammed has lived in the refugee camp for five years. He speaks carefully, telling me one day he wants to be an engineer. His expression was so sad when he told me why he and his family had to leave Syria. "Because there are a lot of bombs there, if they stayed there they will die," he said."