C4SSA

Subject: From The Ground in Syria Monthly Newsletter – Citizens for a Secure and Safe America (C4SSA)

FROM THE GROUND IN SYRIA

A Monthly Newsletter

This is the first edition of From the Ground in Syria a monthly newsletter from Citizens for a Secure and Safe America (C4SSA), the leading group of Syrian Americans in the U.S advocating for a free, Prosperous, and democratic Syria.

From the Ground in Syria Will tell stories directly from our contacts on the ground in Syria that are usually not covered by U.S or international media.

Our purpose is to tell their stories to the word to educate and keep audiences informed about the ongoing crisis in Syria, the suffering and difficulties Syrian communities are facing, but also their daily ingenuity, resilience, and courage to continue fighting for a better country where they can live in peace.

Grueling Humanitarian and Security Conditions Hinder Return to School in Syria

Thousands of school-aged children in Syria are unable to attend school. Those brave enough to make the perilous trip to the few classrooms that remain open risk their lives. The conflict in Syria has deprived multiple generations of a better future.

Oct. 11, 2021

IDLIB, Syria – For millions of school-aged children around the world, the end of summer marks the return to the classroom. It’s a time for new beginnings and to reunite with friends, fellow classmates, and teachers. But for thousands of school children in northwest Syria, home to roughly 4 million people, about half of which are internally displaced, the return to school this year has been markedly different. In a war-torn country, attending school is a perilous affair.

The Syrian people have always cared deeply about education. For families in Syria, gaining access to accessible, top-quality education has long ranked high as a priority. Parents are willing to make great sacrifices to ensure their children can attend school, but despite their many efforts, the conflict –now in its eleventh year– has made it nearly an impossible dream. 

According to our sources in northwest Syria, which we are keeping anonymous to protect their safety, over a third of schools have been destroyed by shelling, primarily from Russian forces. The violence has spread fear among teachers, forcing many to leave Syria and travel abroad in search of safety. The few teachers that remain in northwest Syria often work without economic compensation, all while risking their lives. 

The brave Syrian children still attending school expend substantial energy traveling to the few distant schools that remain open, also risking their own lives. Thousands of school children reside in camps located far away to even the closest schools. These camps are often targets of shelling by armed forces –almost

always Russian– engaged in the conflict. According to UNHCR, the United Nation’s refugee agency, 6.7 million Syrians have been internally displaced because of the ongoing crisis.

NGOs and humanitarian organizations attempt to fill the gap, providing funding to keep schools open and teachers paid, even if at the most basic level. Private schools exist but are not an option for most because their punishing costs are simply unaffordable for nearly all Syrian families, many of which live on a daily income of $2 dollars per person.

The grueling living conditions in northwest Syria, according to our sources on the ground, mean that most children stop attending school after completing elementary

The grueling living conditions in northwest Syria, according to our sources on the ground, mean that most children stop attending school after completing elementary education, if that. Junior-highs and high schools are very scarce. After completing six years of basic education or less, mostly less, Syrian children transition to work, making a great sacrifice to help provide for their families.  The conflict has cost Syria many generations.

Idlib is situated in a fertile basin bordering Turkey, which makes it one of Syria’s best agricultural sites. The few people lucky enough to find work in the area –including children– are devoted to picking cotton, cereals, olives, and other local crops. Most struggle to sell the fruits of their hard labor, given that most families live in complete poverty.

 

The Syrian people don’t want to live like this—nor should they have to. That’s why they are fighting to get rid of the criminal regime led by Bashar al-Assad. The Syrian people are still fighting to live in a free, prosperous, and democratic country. They are hoping the international community will mobilize to give them a chance to live in a country free of al-Assad and violence.

ABOUT: Citizens for a Secure and Safe America (C4SSA)

Citizens for a Secure and Safe America (C4SSA) is a 501(c) organization that believes a free, democratic, and secular Syria will lead to a safer and more secure America. Our Mission is to promote democratic change in Syria so that its citizens can live in a free, secular, and prosperous country.

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