“I heard a shooting sound and I fell down”

Syria’s children continue to suffer in what is now thought to be the worst humanitarian disaster of modern times. Yousef*, 12, was shot by a sniper whilst playing near his home in north western Syria.

“I was playing with my brothers and other children at the graves near my home,” Yousef told us. “All of a sudden, I heard a shooting sound and I fell down.

“I tried to walk but I couldn’t. I used my hands to crawl, trying to get away from the constant shooting. My elder brother saved my life from the sniper.”

Yousef was shot in the foot. A neighbour rushed him to the nearest hospital. There, he learned that his foot was badly damaged in the attack. Moved to a hospital in Idleb, he underwent extensive surgery to save it.

Thank God there is no need for my foot to be amputated

“Thanks for God, the doctor assured me that I will be normal again soon and there is no need for my foot to be amputated.”

From his hospital bed, Yousef dreams of a life without fear for his six brothers and sisters, and the other children of Syria for whom violence is an unrelenting nightmare.

“My wish is to walk again and play with my friends in our village. It’s been a week in the hospital bed, unable to walk, play, and go to the bathroom. I’m sick of the whole situation.”

A generation of children are growing up, knowing only the trauma and hardship of war. More than 10,000 children have been killed or seriously injured in the fighting, according to the UN.

*Name changed for protection purposes

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