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Improving youth skills in Syria

Published on 9 July 2020

After more than nine years of conflict and an increasingly deteriorating situation for Syrians living in the north west provinces, education and employment remain two of the sectors with the greatest needs, and improving youth skills is a priority for Syria’s younger generations.

Mahmoud, like many young men in north west Syria faces unemployment. Despite repeated displacement due to the conflict disrupting his education, he graduated from university in 2019.

However, with a growing lack of jobs for young people in north west Syria, Mahmoud soon found himself unemployed.

Whilst volunteering, Mahmoud enrolled at the local Darna Centre, an education and life skills centre, run by a Christian Aid partner and funded by the European Union, to improve his IT, project management, English and communication skills.

Mahmoud entering his local Darna Centre. Photo: Orient Policy Centre

Committed to his courses, and despite an initial shyness, his dedication and hard work stood out.

Juggling four courses and his family’s needs, his trainers were impressed by his desire to learn and awarded him a three-month internship on completing his courses.

Mahmoud studying. Photo: Orient Policy Centre

With increased confidence and practical experience, Mahmoud could apply for jobs, and was soon successful in gaining a position at an international organisation providing medical and relief to people impacted by the Syrian conflict.  

Darna opened the door for me and now it is my responsibility to keep going forward, prove myself and reach my dreams.

- Mahmoud .

We recognise that young people in Syria are particularly at risk of becoming a lost generation. To tackle this, to date, we have reached over 547 young people providing skills and education, a flicker of normality for young people engulfed in a crisis.

Find out more about our work in Syria