UNICEF has reached more than 1,350 children
After a lull in violence in northwest rural Hama, since last year people began returning to their homes, including As-suqaylabiyah city, to rebuild their lives following years of displacement. With the current economic downturn, families, who have lived through a decade of violence, struggle to get by while having to rethink and prioritize their children’s basic needs, including their education.
To help children continue their learning, in 2021, UNICEF has reached more than 1,350 children in rural Hama with its self-learning programme, specially designed to help out-of-school children or those who missed out on their education to catch up with their peers, eventually supporting them to reintegrate into regular school, with thanks to generous contributions from Japan, Germany, Finland, The US Fund for Educate A Child and Educate A Child (EAC). Children were also supported with transportation to ensure their safety and were provided with school bags as well as self-learning material.
"I enjoy the math class here." Huda, 9
Huda, 9, from Qale’et Almadiq, northwest rural Hama, during a self-learning class at a UNICEF-supported centre in As-suqaylabiyah, northwest rural Hama. A year ago, she returned home with her family after having been displaced for three years due to violence. “I enjoy the math class here,” says Huda, who wants to become a hairdresser when she grows up.
"I want to become an electrician, like my father, or an electrical engineer when I grow up.” Aysar, 13
Aysar, 13, from Altweineh, northwest rural Hama, gives information about cell theory during biology class, a part of UNICEF’s self-learning programme at a UNICEF-supported centre in As-suqaylabiyah, northwest rural Hama. Aysar has been benefitting from the self-learning programme since late June this year. With his family, Aysar fled the violence in Altweineh seven years ago. Last year, they returned to a severely damaged house, so they had to stay with his uncle until they are able to rebuild their home. “I want to become an electrician, like my father, or an electrical engineer when I grow up,” adds Aysar.
“I feel proud coming here to the centre, almost every day, to learn.” Abdullah, 13
“I feel proud coming here to the centre, almost every day, to learn,” says Abdallah, 13, from Qale’et Almadiq, northwest rural Hama. In 2019, violence escalation forced Abdallah and his family to flee their home for safety, causing him to drop out of school for a year. This year, the family returned to find their home severely damaged. “The sight of the house was unimaginable,” he says. Now in Grade 7, Abdallah’s family supports him to continue his education to achieve his dream of becoming a lawyer in the future.
He has been benefitting from UNICEF’s self-learning programme since late June this year, helping him catch up on his missed education.
“When we left home, my studies suffered, I struggled especially with math." Mais, 14
“When we left home, my studies suffered, I struggled especially with math,” says Mais, 14, who has passed Grade 7 this year. In 2021, Mais and her family returned back home to Altweineh, northwest rural Hama, after having been displaced for four years. A month and a half ago, she started attending self-learning classes at a UNICEF-supported centre in As-suqaylabiyah, a 30-minute ride by bus from her home, to recap on some subjects.
“We revised Grade 7 curriculum. I’ve benefitted a lot from the classes,” adds Mais, who wants to become a pharmacist in the future.
“I missed them a lot during that time, but we would call to check on them whenever we could.” Mariam, 13
“My favourite subjects are chemistry and physics. I’ve been coming to the centre to attend classes for two months now. Before that we had teams coming from the centre to our town to help assess our education level and inform us about the proramme,” says Mariam, 13, from Qale’et Almadiq, northwest rural Hama. In 2018, violence escalations forced Mariam and her sister to flee their home toward Hama city for safety, staying with their uncle as their parents remained behind. “I missed them a lot during that time, but we would call to check on them whenever we could,” she says. This year the two sisters finally returned back home.
Now in Grade 8, Mariam wants to continue her education to become a lawyer in the future.