‘Before and after’ drawings show how school gives hope to Syrian refugees

Children in conflicts, Education in emergencies

Drawing is one way in which children who have suffered trauma can share their feelings – and express their hope for the future.

Recently we featured artwork by Syrian refugee children living in Lebanon who had been asked to draw what they wanted to be when they grow up.

Now another group of Syrian children in Lebanon have produced “Before and after” drawings. In them, they express their experiences before fleeing their country and the way they feel after having been welcomed into a school run by the Jesuit Refugee Service.

The video above – published today – features the drawings and shows the difference education can make in the lives of children.

Teacher Catherine Mora said: “The children used to fight when they played. It was all they knew. But after two sessions at the JRS centre, they have improved immensely.”

The Jesuit Refugee Service provides formal and informal education for children from nursery to secondary school, including vocational training programmes.

Education is only one of the many advocacy and fundraising tools used for the service’s Mercy in Motion campaign.

Its ultimate goal is to implement education programmes serving 100,000 refugees by 2020, in addition to the 120,000 already reached by JRS worldwide.

Schools give children stability during conflicts and other crises. Syrian refugees are among more than 80 million around the world whose education has been disrupted by emergencies, including conflicts and natural disasters.

Children need safe places to learn and recover from the trauma of conflicts. But less than 2% of humanitarian aid went to education in 2015.

You can send a message to leaders meeting at the first ever World Humanitarian Summit in May – ensuring they commit to set up a new platform to fund education in emergencies.

Theirworld – the children’s charity behind A World at School – has launched the #SafeSchools campaign to keep up public pressure. Please sign the #SafeSchools petition.

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