Video Places Batman In A Refugee Camp To Showcase A Different Kind Of Superhero

"For some children, fantasy is the only way to escape reality."

We've seen countless videos and posts detailing the horrors refugees experience on a daily basis, but this simultaneously heartening and heart wrenching PSA surfaced by Upworthy is particularly thought-provoking in its illustration of the affect of war on child refugees.

The PSA was created by War Child, an independent and impartial international non-governmental organization dedicated to a peaceful future for children and young people affected by armed conflict. It features Batman happily playing with an 8-year-old boy at a Lebanese refugee camp, and it's already climbed to the top of Reddit.

Together the pair kick around a soccer ball, arm wrestle, play hide and seek, and engage in an array of other fun activities. All the while the smile on the young boy's face is radiant as he bonds with his hero and unlikely new pal.


However, as the award-winning video winds down Batman morphs into the boy's father, and the jovial music is replaced with the sound of planes flying overhead as a settlement burns in the distance. The final shot of the video shows the boy sleeping on his father's back (the real hero) as the family journeys on foot in search of a new home. The concluding text reads, "For some children, fantasy is the only way to escape reality."

The message is a poignant one. Not only does the video stress the importance of relationships amongst refugees (particularly the parent-child bond) but it also illustrates the juxtaposition between the tumultuous lives of refugee children and kids with a stable home.

"Through this impressive video we want to show that fantasy is often the only way to escape reality for these children who are affected by war," Ward Child director of marketing Veronique Hoogendoorn said in a statement emailed to A Plus. "The work of War Child is needed to help these children process their experiences. 250 million children worldwide grow up in war. We help hundreds of thousands of children with psychosocial support, protection and education."

According to this UNICEF video released on World Refugee Day last month, approximately 50 million children have been displaced across the globe, and in the first half of 2016 about 26,000 children reached the U.S. border by themselves.

UNICEF also reports that in 2015 nearly half of the world's 21 million refugees were children who had been forcibly displaced from their own countries. An additional 41 million people in 2015 were internally displaced due to conflict and violence, and estimated 17 million of those were children.

"In War Child's projects, children and young people use creativity as a tool to cope with the effects of armed conflict. Creative activities generate positive energy, give children and young people new skills that they can be proud of and provide instant fun. They learn to overcome their fears, develop confidence, and find a way to deal with their experiences," a statement on the organization's website says. "Through active participation in our projects, children and young people, including the most vulnerable, are able to express their views freely and have a say in decision-making."

And this project was no exception. According to a feature from War Child detailing the making of the PSA, the child featured in the video is referred to by the pseudonym Kadar, and he's a resident of the refugee camp. Kadar escaped Syria with parents, but has a brother who is still in the country.

"It breaks my heart," he said of his war-torn former home.

Though Batman was played by one of the film's producers, Kadar's actual father was able to play his dad, adding yet another layer to this impactful project.

"The whole experience was a special adventure, and one with real heroes too," War Child said in a statement.

This story has been updated to include information from a statement War Child sent to A Plus.


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