– December 9 2019
Children back at school in war-ravaged Aleppo
Ten-year-old Abd hadn’t been to school in four years – not since his family were forced to flee the daily bombings and shootings that ripped apart his community in Aleppo, Syria. But now he is one of more than 2,000 children who have enrolled in classes at the Al-Thawra Banin School this semester.
SOS Children’s Villages helped rebuild the school last year, after it was almost entirely destroyed in the country’s nine-year civil war.
“I lived in Idlib for four years without going to school,” Abd told us. “Recently we came back to Aleppo, and I found that there is a new school in our neighbourhood. I am so happy to be back at school again.”
With the security situation in Aleppo much improved since government forces retook the city last year, families have begun to return to the region. But the war has damaged or destroyed 7,000 schools across the country and many parents are struggling to give their children the education they deserve. According to UNICEF, approximately 2 million children in Syria are being prevented from getting an education because of displacement, lack of schools, economic hardship and security concerns.
Abd and his classmates are some of the lucky ones. The Al-Thawra Banin School now boasts 19 classrooms where children attend classes in morning and evening shifts to give 2,023 children the chance to restart their education.
“My happiness is indescribable,” said school director Hassan Al Sharif at the time of the opening in 2018. “Students are back, and we will all work together to overcome any negative emotions they had during the years of war.”
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