Syria: Education and practical abilities
Since 2011, 8 million children have been affected by the war in Syria. Death, injury and displacement has caused significant disruption, both to the families who have fled and the host communities who have taken them in. The prolonged and violent nature of the conflict means that many children have experienced some degree of trauma.
In this context, good school and education networks can help provide a crucial sense of normalcy. But 2 million children in Syria are currently not in school.
The challenges are enormous: a staggering 40% of school infrastructure has been damaged or destroyed by now. In 2018 alone, according to UNICEF, more than 60 schools in Syria were attacked. And in that same year, at least three children were killed every day.
People in Need has been supporting education programs in Northern Syria since 2013. We recognize the critical role schools play in supporting wellbeing and overall resilience, especially in areas such as Aleppo and Idlib governorates, which have some of the highest numbers of displaced people in Syria.
Working in partnership with schools, we provide a holistic support package that includes funds to rehabilitate damaged buildings, specialized training for educational staff, teacher kits, fuel for heating, water, and monthly staff incentives. We also provide schoolbags and stationary for students, and furniture such as desks, tables and whiteboards. Finally, to help to children, families and mentors to cope with the difficulties they have experienced, qualified psychosocial support facilitators are funded at all the schools we assist.
Education and Psychosocial Support
PIN also provides basic psychosocial support for children by organising various creative workshops and games led by trained staff. The time spent with children as part of these extracurricular activities helps them cope with the traumatic events that have occurred their lives. For children living in temporary camps without any way to access formal education, PIN has recently opened self-education centres. We also run remedial classes and compensatory courses to help children catch up on years of lost education, and we hold open days with the aim of attracting more children into schools.
In addition, parents of children not attending school have the opportunity to earn an income through PIN’s “Cash for Work” programme. This improves household budgets so that parents can afford to send their children to school and, most importantly, ensure children are not compelled to work.