By Lisa Crouch
Children’s Disaster Services (CDS) has deployed a team to work with children along the US/Mexico border in Texas. This CDS team will be on location for two weeks, providing creative play opportunities for the children and much needed rest for their parents before the next leg of their journey. Since arriving in Texas, the team has been averaging 40 to 45 children per day in the CDS center.
Since the beginning of 2021, the growing humanitarian crisis along the southern US border has led to increased pressure on systems to help migrant families seeking asylum. The struggle with poverty and violence in Mexico and Central America has led people to flee for decades. However, the numbers of unaccompanied minors and families seeking refuge have skyrocketed, due partly to a pair of devastating hurricanes that hit Central America in November 2020 and changes in US border policy. The US government picked up nearly 19,000 children traveling alone across the Mexican border in March, the largest monthly number ever recorded.
Over the past few weeks, CDS has been in conversation with many partners in various locations across the country that are handling the influx of children and families from the border. These conversations are helping to discover ways CDS can contribute to the care of these minors, especially ages 4 to 12.
CDS will continue to monitor the humanitarian situation and continue these vital conversations as we move forward. CDS expects to respond to additional locations in time, with this initial deployment being the first step in serving with this important humanitarian work.
— Lisa Crouch is associate director of Children’s Disaster Services, a program of the Church of the Brethren within Brethren Disaster Ministries. Find out more at www.brethren.org/cds.
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