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.

Fleeing Ayn al-Arab : Syrian children play to escape their trauma

SURUÇ, Turkey, 9 October 2014 - Crammed into old classrooms, with mattresses strewn
on the floor, Syrine and her two sisters are in high spirits

Last month, the triplets and their mother fled the conflict in the Syrian city of Ayn al-Arab, also known as Kobane, to the safety of Turkey.
Today they are more concerned with their turn to play in UNICEF’s newly erected child-friendly space.

The family is just one of more than 3,000 Syrian refugees being given assistance by AFAD, Turkey’s Ministry of Health, the Turkish Red Crescent and UNICEF at a disused school in Suruc.

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“I am so happy to have these pens and bags – I love to learn”

Lattakia/Damascus - As part of the ‘Back to Learning’ campaign underway in Syria, hundreds of displaced children at a Lattakia shelter school have received UNICEF school bags filled with stationery supplies.

Each of the blue school bags contain basic stationery supplies
that facilitate children’s learning including coloured pencils, notebooks, pencils, pens, erasers, rulers, protractors and a pencil case.

9-year old Nooran, who was displaced from Aleppo and missed two years of school, proudly shows her new school bag: “I am happy to be back at school. I am happy that my dad enrolled me back in school. I’ve been coming every day and now I am so happy to have all these pens and notebooks because I love to learn.”

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Do you see what I see?

Natheer, 13, is living in Za’atari refugee camp. After taking this photograph, he wrote: “Another nice picture of my little sister Summaia waiting for the falafel that my uncle makes. In the picture I see my shadow.”

Natheer likes volleyball and football. When he grows up, he wants “to be a civil engineer and rebuild things.”

See more photographs by refugee children. Do you see what they see?

Do you see what I see?

Natheer, 13, is living in Za’atari refugee camp. After taking this photograph, he wrote: “Another nice picture of my little sister Summaia waiting for the falafel that my uncle makes. In the picture I see my shadow.”

Natheer likes volleyball and football. When he grows up, he wants “to be a civil engineer and rebuild things.”

See more photographs by refugee children. Do you see what they see?

Video story: Ghada graduates in Za’atari Camp

ZA’ATARI, Jordan – “How is everything with you? I wish you could come,” says Ghada. The 18-year-old is on a mobile phone chatting to her father. She is in Za’atari refugee camp, Jordan and he is in Dera’a, Syria, just across the border.

“I feel comfortable when I talk to him. I stay happy the whole day,
because I’m sure that he’s fine. When we hear that there is bombing,
all of us are sad,” she says.

Ghada, her mother and eight siblings haven’t seen him for a year.
He’s a teacher and when they fled the conflict in their country to Jordan 14-months ago, he stayed behind to finish the school term. Now it’s too dangerous to leave.

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In Egypt, preschool brings a sense of normalcy to Syrian refugee children

CAIRO, Egypt – As his kindergarten teacher coaxes Oudi to talk about his favourite activity, the 4-year-old twists his fingers and stares straight past her, fixing his large eyes on something only he can see.

When he leaves to join the other children, Oudi still seems immersed in his own world. He follows as they charge down the stairs decorated with painted paper feet. The walls are covered in children’s handprints on a mural painted by one of the teachers. Oudi is close behind as the children burst into a room full of toys.

Most of them may look carefree, but not so long ago all of the children were caught in the Syrian conflict that has gone on more than three years.

After Oudi’s father was arrested, his mother fled with Oudi to Egypt.
“When he started at this kindergarten six months ago, he was detached – he didn’t want to sit next to anyone, but he is gradually improving,” says Nour*, his teacher.

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A tale of two schools where Syrian volunteer teachers are determined to educate the next generation

Antakya, Turkey – Down a side street, somewhere in the suburbs of
southern Turkey’s Antakya, is a humble house with a narrow garden bordered by a small wall
and iron wires. It looks like an ordinary house, but the stream of children carrying schoolbags rushing in and out and the Arabic sign at the entrance are clues that it is, in fact, something else.

This is Fatima Al-Zahraa School – one of several community schools for Syrian children in Antakya, a city that’s seen a huge influx of refugees from Turkey’s war-torn neighbor. Inside, narrow hallways and converted bedrooms, now jam-packed with plastic chairs and old desks, make it obvious that the building used to be a home.

Today, however, it holds five classes, one of which still has a shower
curtain hanging at the back.

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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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