Hope For The Future: Syrian Refugee Children At School

Open Doors and Christians on the Left have partnered together at this year’s Labour Conference to discuss hope in the context of the Middle East. What hope is there for a future in Syria and Iraq? What hope for the next generation? Our event will be taking place at 7.30 on Tuesday 26 September at St Paul's Church, West Street, Brighton. Please click here for more details. Zoe Smith, Head of Advocacy, shares some reflections from the Middle East.

flyer-open-doors_(1).jpgGlimmers of hope are already being seen in a children’s camp for Syrian refugee children. And the church is leading the way.

"I want to be a civil engineer, I want to help to reconstruct my country," says 13-year-old Farouq*, a Syrian refugee in Lebanon. He missed years of school when his family fled to Lebanon to escape the war, making his dream of becoming a civil engineer seem impossible.

But thanks to the support and prayers of Open Doors supporters, Farouq is now attending a school being run by a church in east Lebanon with support from local partners. He says, "Before I came to this school, I was doing nothing the whole day. I was angry that I couldn't go to school. I like mathematics most. I was several years out of school, so I am very happy that I can go here now. I think it's very important to help us find out what we want to do with our lives. School is important for our future."

The church has started the school in the basement of their building, providing education for 270 children. The church has also opened two community centres close to the refugee camps where many Syrian families are living; one of the centres is providing education for 160 children, and the other is providing education for 120 children. They accept children of all faith backgrounds.

Haleh*, an 11-year-old girl from Aleppo who attends the school, said, "I was so happy when my mother said that I was accepted at school. I love Arabic and Mathematics."

syria-cnt-170906.jpgWafa* (eight years old) used to live close to Homs. "I was bored," he said of the time before he joined the school. "I can already read Arabic, and I love the story of Daniel and the lions' den."

A staff member at the church says, "Imagine, many Syrian children came to Lebanon when they were five or six years old. Some didn't begin their education until they were 10 or 11. We're taking education seriously. Many of the children who are leaving our school after the fifth grade are doing very well. We are not allowed to give certificates, but we have an agreement with another school. They accept our children after fifth grade. That way they will have the official certificate."

Hadil* is one of the teachers of the school run by the church. She herself is Syrian. "The children of my people needed teachers," she said. "Everything we plant in a child will have a great impact on their future. I really hope and believe that we can offer these children a better future. I hope they will receive long-term education."

syria-ftl-170906.jpgFaizan*, another of the teachers serving at the school, said, "I love to work here. We teach the children the different subjects: Arabic, English, mathematics, etc. We also teach them how to love and respect each other, how to behave, how to work towards a bright future. It's not just about reading and writing."

If you want to ensure hope and a future for children like these, significant pressure needs to be placed on world leaders. Please add your voice – sign and share the One Million Voices of Hope petition, calling for equality, dignity and reconciliation in Syria and Iraq.

*names changed for security reasons

 

Open Doors is a non-partisan organisation which works across the political spectrum to promote the right to freedom of religion or belief. Please visit their website for more details.

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Open Doors and Christians on the Left have partnered together at this year’s Labour Conference to discuss hope in the context of the Middle East. What hope is there for a future in Syria and Iraq? What hope for the next generation? Our event will be taking place at 7.30 on Tuesday 26 September at St Paul's Church, West Street, Brighton. Please click here for more details. Zoe Smith, Head of Advocacy, shares some reflections from the Middle East.


Open Doors and Christians on the Left have partnered together at this year’s Labour Conference to discuss hope in the context of the Middle East. What hope is there for a future in Syria and Iraq? What hope for the next generation? Our event will be taking place at 7.30 on Tuesday 26 September at St Paul's Church, West Street, BrightonPlease click here for more details. Zoe Smith, Head of Advocacy, shares some reflections from the Middle East.



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