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SyriaChildren

Caritas volunteers provide informal education to Syrian refugee children in Zarqa.
Caritas Jordan provides Syrian refugees with humanitarian aid, housing support, healthcare, education and counseling.
Credit: Patrick Nicholson/ Caritas

Four million people have had their lives shattered by the war in Syria, half of them are children. For the millions of children still inside the country, everyday is a struggle.

Children have lost their homes and schools, have gone without food and water, have seen their family and friends killed, beaten or abused.

Caritas says it’s wrong that even one child should have to suffer in this way and is praying everyday for an end to the conflict.

Caritas works in Syria, and also with the refugees in Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon. Psychologists working for Caritas report that the refugee children are suffering from trauma, they experience bedwetting, can be withdrawn and introverted.

In Jordan, children attend afterschool classes organised by Caritas. They are encouraged to express their feelings through drawing and modeling clay. Pictures of Syrian flags and their homes predominate. View our gallery

In Reyhanlı in Turkey, where Caritas works to provide relief services, it is very common to see children playing war games on the street and fighting with each other.

Caritas distributed papers and colouring pencils to refugee children there. When social workers went back to see what the children had drawn, they saw that very few children drew sunny skies to express their hope in a bright future. But most of them drew pictures of war, bombs, blood, damaged houses and dead bodies.

A young girl of 12 years said, “I miss my school, my teacher. I want to grow up in Syria, in my own house.” She is interrupted by the shouting of her younger brother running up and down in the muddy land with his gun made of wood. He shouts the same word repetitively, “Freedom! Freedom! Freedom…”

The girl watches her brother, not knowing when the Syrian children will have the freedom to heal their wounds, to have a childhood which is innocent and unaware of political problems that should belong only in an adult’s world.