Wednesday 3 February 2016
Meet Chouk. Since leaving Syria in 2011, she has been living with her parents and 5 brothers and sisters in a makeshift, tented shelter in Lebanon's Bekaa Valley. She is one of around 500,000 Syrian refugee children living in Lebanon as a result of the crisis in Syria.
“Everybody loves Chouk”, says her father Hadi. “She used to stay out all day to play. Now she goes to school”.
After 3 years in Lebanon, Chouk has started attending Terbol Elementary School – a school supported by UK aid and UNICEF to help accommodate Syrian refugee students.
With the support of international donors, UN agencies such as UNICEF, working together with the Lebanese government enrolment, Chouk and 200,000 other children were helped back into school in 2015.
“School is definitely important, for children and adults”, says Chouk. “We learn from each other. We joke, we play, we laugh. When we grow up and we meet up together we will remember being children together at school.”
There is much more to do. We must ensure all refugee children get an education to avoid a lost generation of Syrian children.
Getting every Syrian refugee and host community child back into education by the end of the 2016-17 school year is a key aim of the Supporting Syria and the Region conference.
For more on Chouk and other Syrian students in Lebanon, visit the ‘Out of Syria, back into school’ Flickr gallery.