More than two million children in Syria are out of school. One in four schools has been destroyed, damaged or used to shelter displaced families. That’s 6,000 schools out of use. Many classrooms have emptied, as teachers have been killed and 52,000 have left their posts.
But against all odds, the #childrenofsyria are not giving up on their dreams and aspirations. Wherever UNICEF teams work in #Syria, children tell us of their dream to learn and their hopes to build a better future.
Providing out-of-school children with learning opportunities is one of the biggest challenges. But with our partners, UNICEF is helping children forced out of school to get back to learning. This includes innovative programmes for children who can’t even get to school, a catch up curriculum for those who have lost years of school, and vocational and life-skills training to help give children and youth gain the tools and knowledge they need for future work and / or to set up their own businesses.
Douaa, 18, was uprooted from her home in the Old City of Homs multiple times, fleeing intense fighting that destroyed her neighborhood. She was forced to drop out of school for two years.
“I used to spend most of the time on my own,” Douaa remembers.
“After joining the youth centre, I met so many friends. I also participated in the sewing course because I like making nice table covers that I can sell and make money to support myself and my family.”
Douaa is eager to go back to school again and get her high school certificate. For now, she enjoys attending the vocational course.
“When I first read about the free vocational courses, I thought they wouldn’t be useful. But then I thought, let me try it, it won’t do any harm.” says Mohammad, 18.
“My first day at the centre was surprisingly great. We had a theory session and then practical training on high quality electrical equipment.”
Mohammad participated in a six month training course on electronics maintenance.
“My mother is very proud of me because I was able to repair the electrical wiring in our building. Now, nobody will be afraid when the power goes off.”
Aya, a 12-year-old young girl, has speech difficulties. She was forced to drop out of school because she needs special aid and learning techniques, no longer available at her school in Syria’s strained education system. Aya’s mother enrolled her at a UNICEF-supported youth centre in Homs. Here, Aya participates in an interactive art session where she receives specialised life skills training, as well as psychosocial support.
Aya can now engage with her peers. She is happy to spend time with her new friends in an environment where she is encouraged to be creative and to team up with others.
‘I am making a pink and a blue necklace for my mother to thank her for helping me come here.’