VOICES FROM THE FIELDTHE IRC BLOG
School Days: A lifeline for Syria’s young minds
July 24, 2013 by The IRC
For Syrian children who have been uprooted by war, school is essential.
Classrooms provide children with a safe space to recover from trauma, develop bonds with other children, exercise their imaginations and build a foundation of learning that will help to heal and strengthen their families and communities into the future.
Photos by Peter Biro/IRC
Children at the Domiz refugee camp in northern Iraq, home to some 40,000 Syrian Kurds, where the IRC is building a secondary school.
Inside Syria, the IRC has established schools in three camps where thousands of families have taken refuge from the fighting. Some 1,500 children are now enrolled.
Morning classes follow the Syrian curriculum and include instruction in mathematics, science, Arabic, social studies, English and religion. Afternoons are devoted to sports, music and art.
The IRC provides each student with a school kit including a backpack, pens, colored pencils, notebooks and other items. Deliveries of paper are sometimes delayed by the fighting.
Three out of four Syrian children have lost a close friend or family member in the war.
Some 2 million Syrian children are in need of assistance.
Facing shortages of essential supplies and an uncertain future, many families are struggling with high levels of stress. The IRC is developing support groups for mothers.
Last winter in Syria, as temperatures dropped and fuel supplies ran low, schoolbooks and desks were burned for heat. The IRC is printing new copies of Syrian textbooks for distribution in the camps.
Children with special needs are particularly vulnerable. At the request of concerned parents, the IRC is providing small afternoon sessions for children with special needs in three camps, encouraging them to socialize and play.
Before the war broke out, more than 90 percent of Syrian children were enrolled in school.
In Jordan, where hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees have sought safety, the IRC is helping to reunite unaccompanied children with their families.
To help protect the health and well-being of the very youngest, the IRC provides prenatal care and other medical support for mothers.
How to Help
Your donation will help provide schooling, medical care, emergency supplies and other critical aid to Syrian children and their families.
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