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Websites for Adults To Help Adolescents Cope with the Aftermath of September 11 and for Children To Learn About Afghanistan

12/10/2001:   Immediately after the shock of September 11, and the resulting concerns about terrorism in the United States, WeR4Kdz and many other sources provided suggestions and sources for children and youth in this new, acute situation. (See WeR4Kdz #50, September 13, 2001, Talking with Kids About Disasters and Crisis.)

Now, months later, parents, teachers, counselors, and others who live or work with youth find themselves facing new challenges and different questions with ongoing concerns about bio-terrorism, air safety, and military involvement in Afghanistan.

Adolescents may have a particularly difficult time expressing and dealing with this new uncertainty. Twelve practical suggestions of supportive ways adults can help teens are listed at www.search-institute.org/9-11home. Sample headings are: maintaining routines but not being rigid, going outside together, and being aware of teachable moments.

Younger children may find it difficult to understand why everyone is now talking about Afghanistan and as expected are expressing their curiosity: Where is Afghanistan? Are Afghan children like children in the United States? Many children are particularly interested because they have contributed to helping children in Afghanistan through Trick or Treat for UNICEF (see WeR4Kdz #59, October 29, 2001) or the appeal by President George W. Bush to send dollars to the White House. The following are two of many organizations with web sites that provide some answers:

Information about Afghanistan, its children, and the aid needed and now being distributed can be found at http://kidsfund.redcross.org/learn.html . This web site describes how money donated to the White House fund is helping children through the Red Cross and its Muslim partner, the Red Crescent.

Save the Children (www.savethechildren.org/afghanistan) also presents information on what it is like to be a child in Afghanistan, describes Afghan children’s health problems, and reports from field offices on humanitarian efforts.

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