The Syrian conflict, which began in March 2011, has triggered the biggest displacement crisis of this century. Some 6.7 million Syrians are internally displaced, including 2.5 million children. A further 6.6 million have fled across national borders as refugees, mostly in countries near Syria. As government troops, armed opposition groups, and international forces battle for power and territory, the lives and wellbeing of women, men and children are threatened. Children and young people are particularly at risk of becoming a lost generation, with limited or no education and employment opportunities, and struggling with severe trauma caused by conflict.
We recognise that returning to school can provide the only flicker of normality for many children facing crises.
Christian Aid is working together with our partner in Syria to provide safe spaces and improve the skills, resilience and social inclusion of children and young people through remedial education, vocational training, psychosocial support, and community involvement.
Before the war, almost all of Syria’s children were enrolled in primary school, but today the country's school enrolment rates are among the lowest in the world. Young people are also disproportionately affected by catastrophic unemployment rates, which are at 90% in some areas, compounding the trauma, isolation and poverty they are experiencing.
Together with our local partner in Syria, our project seeks to ensure young people affected by conflict can access education and training to help transform their lives, reduce their vulnerability to joining armed groups, and support peaceful, cohesive communities.
We will provide at least 12,782 young people aged 12-35 years in northwest Syria with education, psychological support, vocational training, including specialised nursing courses, first response training, awareness raising and opportunities to design and take part in community initiatives.
Through our local partner, we will work in four towns in northwest Syria
The project will be delivered over 4.5 years, ending on 24 March 2022
At least 12,782 young people aged 12-35 years in opposition held northwest Syria
Funded by :
The European Union
Our local partner staff are part of the communities where we will be working and are deeply aware of the issues faced by young people. We will be working closely with them to provide technical expertise to respond to the needs of the people we are supporting and to ensure that we can offer them a chance to complete their education and gain life skills that they can use in the long-term.
Importantly, we are not just offering conventional education to young people, we are also offering hands on training and an opportunity to be directly involved in their communities. We believe this approach will empower young people, whose childhoods and teenage years have been marked by intense violence and a sense of powerlessness.
Key activities and outcomes to date
Four community centres have been established in northwest Syria, where:
3,911 young people (age 12-26) have attended remedial education courses in Arabic, Maths, Physics, English.
4542 young people (age 18-30) have attended short-term vocational training in M&E, Project Management, English, Computer Studies and accounting.
199 young people have then gone on to complete internships, with stipends, in the community centres. At least 97 students have found formal job opportunities following involvement in vocational training, while others have gone on to pursue university or further training.
2832 young people have received psychosocial support – either through a life skills programme or non-specialised individual and group counselling from trained social workers.
Outside of the community centres, we have also supported:
108 students with specialised nursing diplomas in Surgical Assistant, Neonatal ICU, Adult Critical Care and Dialysis. This supports employment whilst also addressing the chronic shortage of nurses.
222 students with access to formal educational qualifications through providing them with university scholarships.
210 young people with first response training. 3 volunteer first response committees made up of young people who attended the trainings were then formed and have been doing work around COVID-19.
Awareness raising in centres but also in IDP camps around the project locations in Child Protection, GBV and COVID-19.