Amidst the rush of war in Ukraine, there’s been little time to think about the long-term prospects for refugees, in particular the youngest and most vulnerable. A large body of research connects adverse events in childhood to lifelong ills ranging from mental problems to pregnancy complications and chronic illnesses, including diabetes and heart disease. War and dislocation are intense stressors, putting an entire generation at risk.
Reporting from Berlin offers unique insight into the challenge. A little over five years since it took in a massive influx of refugees fleeing war in Syria, Germany harbors one of the world's largest Syrian populations. Therapists, aid workers, and teachers hope that the lessons of that experience can help the Ukrainian arrivals to rebuild lives and avoid long-term damage. But the volume of newcomers is putting Germany’s best minds and best intentions to the test.
This report on the PBS NewsHour, from special correspondent Will Wintercross, is told largely through the voices of young Ukrainians still shocked by the loss of their homes, and young Syrians who survived their own struggle to start life anew in Berlin. It melds personal stories with the latest thinking on the broad health impacts of trauma.