More than ten years of destructive conflict in Syria has hit those who are least responsible the hardest – the nation’s children.
Knowing nothing but conflict and displacement, Syrian children are suffering. Facing fear and uncertainty. A decade of war has left Syrian children’s lives in ruins.
An estimated 2.4 million children are out of school and another 1.6 million children are at risk of dropping out, with over 90 attacks on education facilities in the last year alone.
Health infrastructure that would be vital in combating any public health emergency, such as COVID-19, has been decimated.
On the 10th anniversary of the conflict, we spoke to over 1,900 children and caregivers inside Syria and in countries such as Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey and the Netherlands, where many have sought refuge from the violence. No matter where they are in the world, the vast majority told us that they cannot imagine a future within their own country.
Syrian children want to feel safe where they are. They want to have a say on their future and meaningful access to opportunities to learn and grow. Children’s top priority is for the violence in Syria to end. They want justice and the rule of law to prevail.
Save the Children has been working in Syria since 2012. We have been there for children throughout the war and support Syrian refugees around the world.
Save the Children has supported 4.2 million people including 2.6 million children. With your help we will continue until every child is safe.
We are supporting clinics, mother-baby areas and a maternity hospital to make sure children and their mothers are receiving nutrition services, as well as seven vaccination centres.
We support over 90 education facilities, including schools, learning tents and vocational training schools to make sure that children at all levels can continue learning despite their circumstances.
We provide critical psychosocial support for children who have been separated from their families and work to reunite children with their loved ones.
When the crisis escalates in the form of violence or displacement, we support activities which provide families with cash support, food rations and kits containing blankets, solar powered lamps and kitchen utensils.
Lara*, 7, was forced to flee her hometown in Syria three years ago. Having been displaced several times, she now lives in a camp in Idlib with her six sisters and two brothers.
Lara’s mother worries that her daughter is struggling to accept their situation and it’s affected her relationship with other children. Her parents also feared that being out of school could impact her wellbeing and that she would end up illiterate.
Save the Children, through our partners, is providing psychosocial support sessions and has set up a mobile library for Lara, her siblings and other children in the camp. Our team has visited Lara’s family and given her and her siblings school bags and learning kits. The team has also given the family a COVID-19 awareness booklet so they could learn more about how to keep themselves safe during the pandemic.
Looking to the future, Lara dreams of becoming a teacher to help other out of school children.
Watch Lara’s story below: