Back in 2014, Save The Children released a video of a British girl, Lily, surrounded by wartime violence that was supposed to mirror the realities of Syrian children's lives. The world watched as the horrors of the civil war grew worse with each passing day, and the shocking premise of the video struck a chord. To date, it has amassed more than 53 million views.
Two years on, and the war's alarming human cost only increases. About 470,000 deaths have been caused by the Syrian civil war. 11.5 percent of the Syrian population has been wounded or killed since 2011, when the conflict began. 13.5 million Syrians are in dire need of humanitarian assistance. 4.6 million Syrians have become refugees, and 6.6 million are displaced within the country; of that number, half are children.
In a new video by Save The Children that picks up where the first one left off, Lily is documented fleeing London as the hypothetical war breaks out, taking the same journey through the Mediterranean and Aegean Seas that so many Syrian children have.
Carolyn Miles, president and CEO of Save the Children, said in a press release:
This video captures the terrible experiences of thousands of children every day, many undertaking horrific journeys that no one should ever have to endure. We wanted to bring home the reality of what it's like for those children, to capture the public's attention. Lily's journey is like those of hundreds of thousands of other child refugees searching for a better life.
According to data from the U.N. Refugee Agency, more than 325,000 children have made the perilous journey across the seas in search of a better life in countries that have turned away others before them. An estimated 340 children have drowned since September, an average of two children a day.
"This is a generation of children who have lost everything — their home, their education, their family and in some cases their lives. Save the Children is calling for more support for children fleeing these conflict zones," Miles said. "We want a new deal for refugees, to ensure every child gets an education, protection and a fair start in life. Unless the international community provides safe and legal routes to families fleeing war and persecution, children will continue to undertake dangerous journeys in search of safety."