One week ago today, more than 4,000 displaced Syrian children braved the journey back into Syria for their national exams for grades 9 through 12.
Assistance from Non-Government Organizations made test preparation possible, but the students’ determination revealed a bigger picture: the Next Generation has big plans for their country. The exams represent hopes and dreams for a future in a rebuilt Syria.
Right now, that’s all it feels like: a pipe dream. Renewed conflict in the northwest part of the country just displaced hundreds of thousands more. At the same time, neighboring countries hosting Syrian refugees are trying to send them back. Amid reports of desertion arrests, military conscription, and general lawlessness, it’s no wonder Syrian families are reluctant to return home.
A personal approach to the Syrian crisis
Eight years into the conflict, the refugee’s story fails to generate much interest or response. Humanitarian aid funds are drying up at a time when some areas are seeing increased need. Peter, a spokesman for the prayer ministry Cry Out Now, says compassion fatigue partly stems from the length of the war and partly from overwhelming numbers. People have lost sight of individuals amid statistics.
For every family that fled the war in Syria, there are young people with dashed hopes. Education short-circuited when it became too dangerous to attend classes. Since many fled in haste, papers went missing. Some countries don’t allow refugees to participate in public schools. Other schools charge tuition, which puts the price of education out of reach for the displaced.
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SOURCE: Mission Network News, R.B. Klama