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school in Syria

Back to school for Syrian children: Providing hope amongst the horrors of war

Sunday 15th March 2020 marks the ninth year of conflict in Syria.

Almost a decade of violence has devastated communities. A staggering 11.7 million people are now in need of humanitarian assistance.

Over six million men, women and children have fled their homes inside Syria. Just under six million more have sought refuge abroad.

Families are in acute need. Every day, people face multiple threats to their lives, dignity and wellbeing.

Children are particularly affected by the violence and chaos. For many children inside Syria, going to school is therefore not a part of their daily lives.

School in Syria: A distant dream for many children

Inside Syria, schools have been bombed and families left displaced across the nation and neighbouring countries. People’s daily lives are in chaos.

As a result, Syrian children have lost all sense of normality.

In fact, for children born over the past nine years, conflict is their “normal”. Their education, of course, has suffered badly.

Some children are dropping out of school, while others have never even been.

Due to poverty, many children have found themselves forced to work to help support their families.

Meanwhile, some girls have been pushed into sexual slavery as they have been subjected to early/forced marriage. Parents are desperate to guarantee that at least their children can eat.

At the same time, many boys have been forced to engage in military groups.

The psychosocial – as well as economic – impact of war is therefore devastating lives.

Islamic Relief: Providing a place to learn

Every child deserves a place to play, grow and learn. That’s why we’re working to give Syrian children better prospects for the future.

As part of our ongoing work supporting Syrian families, our Safe Learning Environments project for Syrian children is helping children to access some of the basic necessities we take for granted.

By providing a safe and high-quality learning environment for conflict-affected communities in Aleppo, children are now able to attend school. They’re able to learn, develop, grow and build a future away from the ongoing horrors of conflict.

We’re making more classrooms available in three schools in camps in Aleppo, working with 2,750 children displaced by the conflict.

In addition, we’re providing monthly grants to teachers and management staff to enable classes to continue. We’re also distributing bags and books to children so they can attend school.

To support these children affected by the horrors of conflict, we’re aditionally funding five physical and psychosocial trainers in five schools. This will ensure that these vulnerable children can recover from trauma, with adults referring them to specialist centres where required.

Ahmad: Back to school and facing the future

One of the many children you’re helping is Ahmad*, just 12 years old.

After being forced to flee Syria with his family five years ago, he’s witnessed the horrors of war for himself:

I was in English class with my friends. We were happy to learn… until we heard the sound of the plane flying over our school.

Everyone started running towards their house in fear and terror. We had to flee because of several raids… We fled to several areas to escape the bombing.

Ahmad’s family fled to a refugee camp on the Turkish border. When they arrived, there were no schools or services available.

With his schooling disrupted, his future looked bleak.

Alhamdulillah, thanks to your support, our educational programme has enabled Ahmad and hundreds more children like him to go back to school. As a result, these vulnerable children been able to regain some stability in such a turbulent period of their lives:

A year and a half later, humanitarian organisations built a school in this camp. I was very happy; I went back to school.

Islamic Relief provided us with pens, notebooks, school bags… These items cost a lot and we cannot buy them ourselves. 

I dream of becoming a doctor to help people wounded by this war. I miss my friends. I hope to return to my home and school. I hope peace and security will return to our country.

Now able to continue his education, Ahmad can look forward to a brighter future.

Thank you! It’s because of you that Ahmad and his classmates are able to move beyond the horror of war and build their futures. Jazak Allah khair!


Find out more about our work supporting Syrian communities.

Donate today to help save and transform even more lives.



*Names and key details have been changed to protect the individual’s identity

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