Five years of civil war in Syria has left the country and its people in a crisis of astounding proportions. From secure shelter to safe water, food, and clothing, the needs are immense. Out of a population of 21.4 million people, 13.5 million people in Syria are in need of aid.
Among the most vulnerable in this crisis are the children. A staggering 6 million children have been affected by the conflict. They have endured violence and suffer its physical, mental, and emotional stress. In addition, these children could become a “lost generation.” As of February 2016, 2.1 million children in Syria were out of school for at least one year, many for much longer. Their schools have either been damaged, destroyed, or repurposed as shelters or military posts.
It goes without saying that a lack of education has negative impacts on children. For Syrian children, the impact goes beyond the loss of opportunities for a productive and successful future. It means that they are vulnerable now to abuse and exploitation coupled with an uncertain future.
In March, 2016, ADRA Canada began the Education in Emergencies project as a response to the pressing need to save the “lost generation” of Syria. This project is helping over 12,000 boys and girls return to school by rehabilitating damaged classrooms in Homs, Sbeineh, and Quineitra. Each school is outfitted with sanitation facilities to ensure the children’s health and security.
The project goes deeper than merely bricks and mortar. It is also addressing the children’s need to heal mentally and emotionally from their traumatic and violent experiences. Through special teacher training and student activities, the school environment is shaped into one of safety, peace, and healing.
The Education in Emergencies project is also reaching out to teachers. The project is training over 300 teachers to manage overcrowded classrooms, to incorporate active learning techniques, and to be sensitive to children’s mental and emotional needs due to traumas.
Because of your support, ADRA is able to make a real, positive, and lasting difference in the lives of these children. They have suffered greatly, though they had no part in the causes of their suffering. Thanks to you, they now have the comfort of your care, a brighter today, and a hopeful tomorrow. Thank you!