Islamic Relief knows first-hand that conditions facing teachers and students in Syria are unrelentingly challenging as they enter the 12th year of crisis.

Students are repeatedly displaced, teachers cannot teach a full curriculum and many parents are afraid to send their children to school. An estimated 6.6 million people – 97% of whom are children – need education assistance, while 94% of school-aged children live in severe, extreme or catastrophic education conditions, mostly in Aleppo, Idlib and rural Damascus governorates.

Syrian children yearn for an education and to develop their skills and knowledge to help rebuild their communities and their country.

10-year-old Sali was born just after the crisis in Syria began, in the village of Neirab in Idlib. Her neighbours were killed while she hid under her bed. Her friends were all displaced to different villages and she too was forced to flee along with her family. Sali’s whole village was destroyed, the school demolished and her community torn apart.

Small children with big dreams

Despite all this, this brave little girl is determined to go to school. She, like so many Syrians, knows that education is the key to the future and that Syria’s children will one day rebuild their country.

“My dream is to be a teacher, in order to teach them, take care of them, and make up for what they lost in knowledge during the crisis.”

10-year-old Sali has known only crisis, but looks forward with hope.

Muhamad, 13, is also from Neirab. During a particularly intense bombardment of Idlib, children emerged from a base.ment to find the village school in ruins: 5 children and 4 adults were killed. Like Sali, Muhamad is determined to continue to go to school, so that he too can help rebuild his country.

“I am now in the sixth grade of primary school, and I dream of being a teacher in order to contribute to the education of these generations who were deprived of knowledge and education.”

13-year-old Muhamad dreams of being a teacher.

Near-impossible teaching conditions

Syria’s brave teachers are providing an entire generation of children with hope and the prospect of a brighter future. Despite near-impossible teaching conditions, the daily toll of the crisis, and the chronic lack of resources, materials and adequate classrooms in which to teach, Syria’s teachers refuse to give up.

Hassan is one of them.

He teaches Arabic in Al-Nairab School in Idlib in north-western Syria. Despite the ongoing crisis, lack of resources and the fact that many teachers work voluntarily without pay, Hassan has continued to find ways to teach children who have never known peace, security or stability.

Education is a hope for the new generation

After his school and home were destroyed and the community forced to flee, Hassan returned to witness indescribable scenes of destruction.

“This was a huge shock. These repeated shocks motivate me to stay in the country with our displaced people and make me determined not to leave. Education is a hope for the new generation.”

Hassan grapples with near-impossible teaching conditions to give children the chance of a brighter future.

Islamic Relief is standing with Syria’s teachers

With Islamic Relief by their side, teachers continue to overcome the obstacles to provide Syria’s children with an education.

In 2021, we helped over 28,000 Syrian children to receive a safe, high-quality education, supporting 179 teachers across 72 schools. Our funding provides monthly stipends to teachers, desks, laptops and printers, stationery, books and daily meals, as well as counselling and wellbeing support to help those traumatised by the last 11 years to come to terms with everything they have seen and experienced.

Sali knows the sacrifices that her teachers make to try to give children an education: “I love my teachers, I love them very much, and I wish them happiness and contentment.”

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