Since October 2013, with the mass inflow of migrants, Fondazione L’Albero della Vita has been helping more than 10,200 children to overcome war trauma

In October 2013, a great number of Syrian refugees arrived in Milan. The flow has never stopped, with a significant increase during summer 2014. Those who are arriving in Milan are families, often women with children, people fleeing from a war that deprived them of their homes and dear ones. They have been on the move for months along the shores of the Mediterranean, living a reality of large boats packed with people, harassment, threats and torture.
Milan associations have stepped in to support these people. Fondazione L’Albero della Vita immediately started to help children, with games, activities and psychological support.

10.230 Syrian children helped in the last two years

Since October 2013, when the refugee crisis broke out, Milan has welcomed 82,000 people. Among them, more than 116,000 minors. These children and adolescents have been hosted in facilities provided by the Municipality of Milan.
Fondazione L’Albero della Vita has received and helped more than 10,200 Syrian children and the number is set to increase.

Syria Emergency, an endless war

1March 15th, 2011: a civil war broke out in Syria, following the wave of protest movements linked to the Arab Spring. But the clashes don’t stop and translate into 5,000 victims every month. By the end of 2013,3.5 million Syrians had left their homes and fled within or outside the country. Many tried to escape towards Europe.

In October 2013, a huge flow of Syrian refugees reached Milan.Those families arrived at the station looking for a way to flee towards northern European countries. But they were running great risks: some North African men were offering illegal border crossings, proposing to buy the tickets, taking advantage of the difficulties refugees had to express themselves in a language other than Arabic, in order to rob children and families of the last pennies they had.

A child-friendly space

First at the station and then in reception facilities, Fondazione L’Albero della Vita has created two spaces for recreation for Syrian refugee minors in transit. Here children can enjoy:

  • a place just for them, after months among adults;
  • a place where to play freely and light-heartedly;
  • a place where to process and overcome —with the help of expert operators— the experience, emotions and though moments they went through;
  • a place where to discover social interaction, something they never got to know before because of war and the difficult travel conditions;
  • a place where to learn to draw and write, since many of them have never gone to school;
  • a place where to learn the key rules of a peaceful coexistence.

The project wishes to create a positive environment for these very vulnerable children, far from their social and cultural references, so that —even if only for a short time— they can find a “safe place”. Here they can feel protected and able to enjoy a break of normality and regeneration. This place also fosters the RESILIENCE process, which will translate into a higher number of resources to process the journey they will embark on.

Support these children

  • You can become a volunteer of the project “Syria Emergency” (Emergenza Siria) and work with children. In these months, volunteers have been key to take the project forward and help these young travellers. Send an e-mail to;
  • You can offer a better future to these children with a donation and provide them with a new life and wonderful smiles after so much suffering.