Syrian school children affected by war
The Syrian Conflict has taken hundreds of thousands of lives and has caused severe economic consequences through the worn-torn country of Syria. While thousands have fled the country in hopes for a better life elsewhere, many — including school children — remain and must deal with on going airstrikes and daily attacks from ISIS terrorists.
The country’s education system has taken a huge hit as schools have been completely wiped out by airstrikes. Thanks to the Syrian civil dense known as The White Helmets, school children are learning how to protect themselves in case of a bombardment or airstrike in the country. The White Helmets teach war safety classes to help kids prepare for unsuspecting strikes while they’re in class.
Many schools have been so badly damaged that they can no longer be used. Syrians have found unconventional ways to conduct classes, including using caves which are harder to detect since they’re underground. However, caves aren’t ideal as they flood when it rains and kids can’t see when it gets dark.
“At no time is education more important than in times of war.”
Teachers have even become targets of attacks if they refuse to conform to terrorists’ curriculum. Many in ISIS territory risk their lives to host private study groups.
“At no time is education more important than in times of war,” states Josephine Bourne, the Chief of Education at UNICEF. “Without education, how will children reach their full potential and contribute to the future and stability of their families, communities and economies?”
Nineteen-year-old Muzoon Almellehan, a Syrian refugee and education activist who fled her home country when she was 15 with only her school books, has been traveling to other war-torn countries to encourage education. She has traveled to Chad, Nigeria and Jordan to speak with kids and parents about attending school.
“Conflict can take away your friends, your family, your livelihood, your home. It can try to strip you of your dignity, identity, pride and hope. But it can never take away your knowledge,” Almellehan says. “Meeting children in Chad who had fled Boko Haram reminded me of my own experiences in Syria. Education gave me the strength to carry on. I wouldn’t be here without it.”