The #childrenofsyria are a generation at risk of losing everything. They want and need to go to school. To be protected. To be comforted.

These children need champions. These children need YOU to be their champion.


Because the children of Syria…
are the future of Syria.

No matter how, no matter where: Syrian children fight to continue their education

The small town of Kilis on the Turkish-Syrian border is the first stop for
thousands of Syrian refugees, and for many of them it’s as far as they get into Turkey. Since the start of the conflict, the town’s population has more than doubled to 210,000. Providing schools for the children of the new arrivals is no mean feat. But against all odds, Syrian children are holding on tight to their right to an education.

UNICEF Turkey has partnered with the Republic of Turkey,
Prime Ministry Disaster & Emergency Management Presidency (AFAD) to build 50 pre-fabricated schools, both inside and outside of refugee camps, including one in Kilis, funded by the US Government.

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UNICEF school clubs help Syrian children catch up during summer break

It’s holiday time, but for three days of every week, Lama, a fifth grader, attends a UNICEF-supported school club in Safi Al-Dien Al-Heli School in Qamishly, a town in northeast Syria. “Last year, I stayed all summer at home without electricity and water,” she said. “I couldn’t even watch TV.

“Back then, I thought coming to school in summer would be a pain, but now I love it. I count the days to know when the next school club is so I can meet my friend Rania and the teacher,” she added happily.

For thousands of children in Syria, summer vacation is no longer about taking a break from their hectic school lives. On the contrary, with displacement and violence regularly interrupting normal classes, many children around the country used their summer break to visit school clubs and catch up on lost school days.

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No Lost Generation Initiative – One Year On

Over the last year, an additional 770,000 children affected by the Syria crisis benefitted from some form of education and almost 660,000 children received psychological support.
“Helping the children of Syria is investing in the future of Syria, as today’s children are tomorrow’s doctors, teachers, lawyers and leaders.

Investing in this generation is helping them acquire the skills and knowledge they will need to rebuild their communities when peace returns,” said UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake. “We need to heal their hearts and minds. And there is so much more to be done.”

The deepening crisis in Syria continues to put an entire generation of children at risk, says a progress report released today by the No Lost Generation initiative at a meeting of key government, NGO and UN partners on the margins of the UN General Assembly.
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Education Under Attack

By Naeem, a Save the Children staff member working on our emergency response to the crisis in Syria

It is my first morning in Syria and after a tough journey I arrive outside a school that was attacked for the third time yesterday. It is now a shell of a building with blown out windows and crumbling walls. I have seen destroyed buildings on the news before but I have never seen one in real life. It looks as though it is from the set of an action movie.

I want to capture this indescribable scene on camera, but the moment I start taking photos people start to come out of nearby houses and surround me. No one wants any more attention on where they live in case it leads to more attacks.

I make my way inside the building and into what had been the classrooms. The blackboards are still on the walls, the desks are still in rows, but everything is coated in thick dust and rubble.

While I am speaking with some of the teachers from the school the sirens start to wail. I am instantly terrified as the sound is so loud and I can see how the expressions on the faces of the teachers change.

They tell me to run for the shelter, which will be the safest place if something should happen again. The shelter is in the basement of the school where all the old furniture and equipment is kept, but it is the best option there is. Everyone is certain that the school will be hit for a fourth time. On the radios we listen carefully to the reports of what is happening in the outside world. Time moves so slowly and every time I hear the name of the place we are in on the radio I feel my heart beat faster and louder.

Playing the hero

As a young boy I’m sure I wasn’t alone in dreaming of being like Tom Cruise in an action movie; you see yourself as taking the lead and helping people when something bad happens. You imagine yourself playing the hero. But in real life you feel helpless; you are a normal person who simply wants to survive.

For more than one hour I crouch on my knees with my hands over my ears. After a while we hear on the radio that another village was attacked instead. The people I am with say that we can get out now.

As I make my way outside I ask myself, ‘How should I feel right now?’ Should I feel happy because I am safe, or guilt because other people are dead? Or should I just feel anger?

Taking the back road

Today I am going to a village that is two hours away from our base; it shouldn’t take as long as it does, but we are using the small, unpaved farm roads not the main roads to avoid the fighting, shelling and snipers.

We arrive at the village and head straight to the school. But it is empty. It turns out parents in this village had heard about the attack on the school I went to yesterday, and have decided to keep their children at home. Everyone is petrified that schools are being targeted.

I walk around the empty school, its walls covered in bright paintings and children’s work. But it is the noise and energy of the children that gives a school its glory and its reason for existing. Without it everything feels sad and lifeless.

Out of school

It is my last day and I am in another village where I see many children working in a diesel market. This is hard and unhealthy work for adults so I cannot imagine what impact it is having on these children. Just a couple of days ago there was an explosion here, and many of the children are suffering from burns and other health problems. The team I am here with are working with the community to design a programme to get these children out of such dangerous conditions and back into school.

These children should be in school, but they have no choice but to work for a tiny amount of money to try and support their families. In the village school I see what these children should be doing right now; being children. Running around and playing without caring what is going on around them.

So many children in Syria are missing out on their education because of this conflict; a few days or weeks because of an attack, a few months or years because of displacement. How many will never return to class? And how will we rebuild this country if our youngest generation is illiterate?

Read Save the Children’s latest report on how the crisis has affected Syrian children’s education here.

"Syrians without an address" - in this short animated film Syrian children who are now living as refugees in Egypt discuss the challenges they have faced or are still facing in accessing their education, as a result of the conflict. To read Save the Children’s full report on how Syrian children’s education has been affected by the conflict click here: http://www.savethechildren.net/article/education-never-been-deadlier-syria’s-children-save-children-report-says

Adib, 13, is a Syrian refugee living in Lebanon. He had to drop entirely out of school to work. Now he works as a delivery boy, carrying heavy loads for customers. Adib has participated in Save the Children’s workshop to learn how to make animated films. In this film, Adib tells us about his life. He made the film on his own. To read more about how Syrian children’s education has been affected by the conflict click here: http://www.savethechildren.net/article/education-never-been-deadlier-syria’s-children-save-children-report-says

Playing a principal role at school for Syrian refugees in Iraq

Zuhair Mustafa Sadiq’s office bustles with energy. Eager mother’s line up at the school principal’s door, hoping for a meeting and a chance to enroll their child at the Kar School in the Domiz refugee camp, just outside Dohuk.

Zuhair carefully explains that, at present, the roster is full and parents should return the following week to see if the school can accommodate them.
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Working together to help Syrian refugee children in Lebanon

Alia and Basma* (right), both aged 12, tackle a maths question at a temporary school in northern Lebanon, set up by UNICEF and Lebanese NGO Beyond Association with the help of UK aid.

"It’s good to have these classes here", says Basma.

"I hadn’t been able to go to school for a year before because of the conflict, but I feel much better now that I’m learning again."

"I’ve been in Lebanon for two years. First we lived in a house here, but then we had to come to this camp. The camp is much better now that the school is here as well".

UK aid is supporting the government of Lebanon, UNICEF and organisations like Beyond Association to help thousands of Syrian and Lebanese children who have been affected by the conflict in Syria, as part of the No Lost Generation initiative.

For more details on how the UK is helping people affected by the conflict in Syria, please see: www.gov.uk/government/news/syria-the-latest-updates-on-uk…

(Source: Flickr / dfid)

Shakespeare in Za’atari

Watch the video: http://rfg.ee/wu6L1

Twelve-year-old Wiam has not been to school since her family fled Syria in January 2013. But she was one of 80 young refugees who recently staged “King Lear” at Za’atari camp in Jordan – exploring all-too-familiar themes of exile, bitter rivalry and human cruelty.

Wiam played Cordelia, the king’s youngest daughter, who pays a steep price for daring to tell him the truth. “I liked my role a lot,” she said. “It’s the first time I’ve participated in a play – and we were successful. We can’t believe that we were successful!”

Orphaned by War

Watch the video: http://rfg.ee/vnoco

Most of all, Hala misses her mother’s bedtime stories.

“I was playing outside when our house crumbled,” she says. “I saw people carrying my mom downstairs … She was in pieces. Her legs, her arms. They couldn’t find all of her.”

Hala was ten years old. Two years later, she shared her story of loss, exile and resilience with UNHCR Special Envoy Angelina Jolie.

UNICEF Lebanon showcases Raspberry Pi for learning

When the Raspberry Pi was first announced in 2011, I was captured by its mission from the start to introduce children in schools to the world of technology, programming, and creation.

In a world where schools were filled with Windows based PCs, this was a bold move to disrupt the status quo and empower children to leverage the technology that was rapidly evolving around them.

Interestingly, the device to trigger this movement did not come in the form of a state of the art computer, but instead, was a low cost, credit card sized single board computer that you connected to your TV or computer monitor.

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The Charcoal Boys

Anas should be at school with friends. But like a growing number of Syrian refugee children, he is working to survive.

Just 12 years old, he spends his days sorting lumps of charcoal to be sold as fuel.

“I miss school,” says Anas, washing up after a dusty day at work. “Playing with friends, chasing each other, hide and seek, karate.”

Learn more about Anas and the charcoal boys: http://rfg.ee/xyIF8

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