Pre-war Syria was considered one of the most educated countries in the Middle East, and standards of living were generally good. Eight years of civil war have changed everything.
Over 2 million children are not in school – that’s one third of children in Syria. 1.3 million children who are in the classroom are at risk of dropping out. Over 40% of school buildings have been damaged or destroyed. 83% of people live below the poverty line.*
In partnership with House of Hope., a registered Syrian Christian NGO, we are operating a pilot project to improve children’s educational opportunities, in a suburb of Damascus which was on the frontline of fighting for many years. Described as ‘banditland’, this area is now home to displaced families from across Northern Syria, most of whom are living in poverty, having suffered huge trauma through the war.
Our School Club is helping children in Grades 1-3 (aged roughly 5-8 years) with basic literacy and numeracy, as well as a safe space to play and access therapeutic support. Because of the large numbers of children in need, our partners are focusing on children who have lost parents during the war, or those who are so poor they would be unable to access education in any other way. A pilot project with 70 children started in early 2019. Evidence from the pilot project will inform the establishment of a formal School Club project, which will run for a minimum of three years, from September 2019.
The financial aspects of the work will be supported via our existing partners in Lebanon, Out of the Wilderness.
*Statistics from UNICEF