Syria – Broken dreams can be restored

The war in Syria is about to reach another terrible milestone as it enters into its 8th year of war and violence. The reports from Syria seem to be getting worse and worse but there is some hope in the midst of much darkness.

Tearfund Ireland is responding to this crisis through our partners in Lebanon, which you can read more about below. Halla is one young girl who having been forced to leave her home is benefiting from the tireless efforts of our partners.

Halla left everything she knew and loved when she was forced to flee the violence in Syria with her family and cross into Lebanon.

‘All of Syria is beautiful. I miss it,’ she says, ‘There we had electricity, water and schools. I miss my friends. We used to play jumping ropes and sit around and talk. Mostly I miss my grandparents’ house.They’d give me sugar and tea. The war in Syria means everyone is separated from each other.’

When the shells, bombs and gunfire came closer, families like Halla’s had no choice – they had to run or risk being killed. Halla’s whole world was suddenly taken from her and the frightening noise of bullets, bombs and homes collapsing is not easily forgotten. Each one of the one and a half million forced to flee to Lebanon need trauma support for what they’ve suffered, including children like Halla.

However, the tragedy of her circumstances has not stopped Halla from dreaming of a better future. ‘I want to be an English teacher,’ she tells us. ‘Right now, I go to school at the local church,’ but then she adds, sadly, ‘this might be the last year I am in school though, as this is the oldest age they accept people.’

For a young girl like Halla, education is vitally important. Without it, she could become one of the countless girls to have a future forced on her: married off too young, pregnant before she’s ready, and then trapped, with her own children, in even deeper poverty.

This is why Tearfund Ireland is determined to meet the most urgent needs, including education.

In Lebanon, we are working with a partner, Middle East Revive and Thrive (MERATH), led by Pastor Marcel. So far, Tearfund Ireland has contributed to providing:

• Tent schools’ for over 1,000 Syrian refugee children, as well as safe spaces to play and receive support for the trauma they carry
• Three-day training, as well as and education workshops for Child Protection Champions
• Food through vouchers, as well as milk and nappies
• 120 medical kits already distributed to families, and a medical centre serving people in need
• Basic training on saving funds and sewing for small businesses.

We also advocate to the EU and UN to ensure that children like Halla who have been forced from their homes and countries have access to quality education in the host countries they now live in.

A mum named Cedra who lost her father and son as her family fled, explains what the support means to her.

‘They’ve provided for our basic needs, including food and fuel for the winter. They’ve helped get my girls back in school. That’s when things really changed for the better. They are learning again, more aware of everything around them, and they’re better emotionally too.’

Join with us as we help vulnerable children like Halla to go after their dreams. We don’t give up, even in the direst of circumstances, and we will support Halla to never give up on her hopes of becoming a

Send a gift and help children around the world, just as vulnerable as Halla, not only to survive, but to truly thrive.