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They’ve known nothing but war

19 March 2021, Impact of Our Work, Voices from the Field, Action for Change

Your support has helped children through a decade of suffering

A generation of children in Syria have never had a childhood. For 10 years they’ve suffered bombings, their schools have been destroyed and they have lost loved ones. With no end to the conflict in sight, they’re at risk of losing their entire future. But you have made sure they are not forgotten.
 
Thanks to generous supporters, hundreds of thousands of children have been saved – they’ve been given food, shelter, a chance to continue their education, and badly needed counselling to help them cope with their trauma.
                           
Three years ago, seven-year-old Lara’s family had to flee when the shelling began. “For 10 days, our village kept getting shelled,” Lara’s mother, Marayam explains. “We used to sit between the vines all day and come back at night.”
We had to get out. Some people had the chance to take their belongings while others got out with only the clothes they were wearing. We got some stuff out. We did not get all of our belongings.

Lara's mother, Marayam

She couldn’t leave her toys

Lara was only four at the time, and like any preschooler, extremely attached to her toys. “When we started packing, we took only what is necessary,” says Marayam. “Lara started screaming: I won’t leave my toys. So, she brought a bag and put all of her toys inside it. She kept holding the toys in her lap.”
 
“We kept moving around for the first year. Every time we settle, we tell her: take your toys out. She refuses and tells us: I will not take them out or play with them until we go back to our homes.”
 

Fears and hopes for the future

“I wish the war would end and all the children could learn how to read and write and go back to their homes,” says Lara. For her, education is the only hope she has of getting out of Syria.
 
“I am afraid if I do not go to school I may not be able to go to the university,” Lara told us. “When I grow up I want to become a teacher and teach children so they don't stay out of school.”
 
Thankfully, with the support of Save the Children’s donors, Lara can still achieve her dream. “A while ago, a school opened here and we were very happy. Our children started learning the alphabet after some years of being illiterate,” says Marayam.
 
Save the Children visited Lara’s tent and gave her and her siblings school bags, uniforms and learning kits. While the pandemic rages on, Lara and her siblings are learning at home.  
 
Because of caring donors, Lara has been given the chance to begin to feel safe in her new surroundings and is able to embrace play again. She even takes a doll out of her toy bag and holds it on her lap.
 
Syrian children, like Lara, have shown incredible resilience in the face of unthinkable horrors. Thanks to your support, we can reach and support many more vulnerable children like Lara.
 

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