Advent calendar opens a window on the world of refugee children


Last Advent, hundreds of children across the UK shared the love of Christ, sending messages of friendship to refugee children, telling them that they are not alone.

We launched the Children’s Alternative Advent Calendar where, behind each door, children could follow the story of ten-year-old Sami and his family who fled Syria because of the war.

Refugee children often feel forgotten. They don’t know what has happened to their friends, pets and extended family, and they see their exhausted parents struggling to provide food and shelter.

Each day the calendar revealed a little more of Sami’s story and on 15 December, we asked children to write, colour and send a postcard with messages of friendship and love which we promised to pass on to Syrian refugee children living in Lebanon.

Hundreds of children responded and made a huge difference to children who have left everything behind.

The price of the calendar supported our Christian partners in the Middle East who provide vital items to refugee families. They were able to provide items from life-sustaining rice to a pair of sturdy shoes.

And those Christians are running healthcare centres and schools, and after-school clubs for refugee children who otherwise would be missing out on their education.

Last month, Heather, our Individual Giving and Communications Manager, had the opportunity to visit one of these after-school clubs in Lebanon where she passed on, with love, your postcards.

Heather, passing on, with love, your postcards.
Heather, passing on, with love, your postcards.

Heather said: ‘I’m so thrilled to share these images with you now and pass on the ‘thanks’ and ‘we love you’ messages the children made me promise to say.’

Please pass on these messages of thanks and love to the children in your life who sent a postcard of friendship.

The calendars are still available to buy now and will be in our Christmas catalogue which launches in autumn.



Pass the message on. Please do share the photos of children receiving these lovely messages of friendship and hope to anyone who may have sent one through our Advent Calendar last year.

These are just a selection of the hundreds of cards we received from children across the UK.