Almost two million Syrian refugees under the age of 18, have no access to education and risk becoming a lost generation; a growing generation of children who do not know how to read and write their own names. There is urgency to re-establish schools in Syria as these children will be called upon to help re-build a free and democratic country.
As the war in Syria rages into its fifth year with no end in sight, it continues to devastate the lives of thousands of children daily, over 22,000 children have been killed and millions displaced. To make a donation please click HERE.
As we watched the catastrophe of this immense suffering unfold, my husband and I decided to transform our feelings of powerlessness into one of empowerment by getting involved. We started a non-profit humanitarian aid organization, Bridge of Peace Syria, and we have successfully raised enough funds to provide material aid to children and their families living inside Syria and on the Turkish border that have been displaced, living in thin plastic tents with dirt floors and minimal sources of heat.
This camp in northern Syria shelters 700 people, 300 children, 104 families living in 104 tents. Over the last few months, to ward off the sub-freezing temperatures, we have delivered tons of urgently needed food, baby milk and baby clothes, hundreds of thick blankets, warm winter coats, hats, gloves, shoes and socks to all the children. As Bridge of Peace Syria continues to provide these essentials, the urgency of building a school for these children is our next commitment….we need your help.
The war has displaced tens of thousands of children between the ages of 5-10 years, children who have never seen the inside of a school or received any formal education.
Going to school brings a sense of normalcy back into the lives of traumatized children
Education fosters self-worth and helps build confidence in children
Education supports the growth of a civil society that fosters equality between men and women
Education creates opportunities that kindle healthy, economic growth, and in this case, the rebuilding of a Free Syria.
Why a “Tent” School
Because the regime in Syria targets schools and hospitals with barrel bomb air strikes, it is much safer to have non-permanent structures, such as tents, for the children to study in. They are also more economical to purchase and easier to erect.
The construction and operation of a tent school in the Al Waleed Refugee Camp will serve approximately 150 children between the ages of 5-10 years. It will also serve as a pilot school project that can be replicated in other refugee camps. Reaching our financial goal of $25,600 will allow us to purchase the tents, all materials, set-up the school and completely fund it for the first half year of operation.
The School will consist of three large tents with each tent having a divider to accommodate two classes per tent. Plastic tarps, floor mats and rugs will be required to cover the dirt floors, wood stoves for heat in the cold months and large eraser boards are needed for each class.
The Students will need desks and supplies including school books, notebooks, pencils, sharpeners, erasers, crayons and markers, back packs along with waterproof carrying bags. We hope to equip the school with art and craft supplies, including paints, paper, pens, paint brushes, glue, scissors, knitting needles and yarn. Play items will also be purchased for the very young children. Snack food and bottled water will also be required on a daily basis.
The Teachers will need to be recruited and paid a stipend. They will require teaching aids such as books, PC tablets and satellite internet subscriptions.
Special Counseling: Traditionally in Syria, school is not in session during the summer months of July and August. For this period of time we will recruit and pay a stipend to two people trained to counsel children suffering from P.T.S.D. to help them process their trauma caused by shelling, bomb attacks, and forced displacement. Many children in Al Waleed Refugee Camp have suffered greatly because of family members killed by regimes airstrikes, detainment and torture.
The generation of Syrian Children who do not know how to read and write is growing
Most everyone by now is aware of the horrors faced by innocents in Syria, especially children who have lost their childhood and had their future stolen. The longer these children remain without an education, the more accessible they will be to fundamental beliefs that will limit their future and the constructive rebuilding of their country and the region.
Perhaps you have said to yourself, “I know it is horrible but what can I do?” This project is a positive answer to that question. We ask you to please open your heart and make a donation. Your contribution will help children who have nowhere else to turn. These children, as others, are our future…please consider your donation as an investment in our humanity! Thank you.
Bridge of Peace Syria is an all-volunteer organization and 100% of your donations will go directly to support the children. It enables us to keep our expenses low and our projects cost-effective. Hamsa and Moshe Newmark work in the U.S. as a team with our Syrian coordinator, Tamer Altaiar, who implements our projects both in Syria and on the Turkish border.
For more information please visit our Facebook page: Bridge of Peace Syria. If you wish to contact us directly please email email@example.com.