A post written by Rita a few days ago~
I was talking to my daughter this morning in the Carolinas as they were weathering tropical storm Hermine and as always we got onto the subject of Syria. We talked about the continued humanitarian aid that SCM is involved with in Greece and Jordan and she said, “As much as we take care of the fallout, the cause of the violence continues. It feels like a bottomless pit of suffering.”
It’s easy to feel deeply from 6,000 miles away. It’s harder to do something about it. Governments and people globally should beware: If we don’t do something to address the situation in Syria and save the children from their current fate, then we won’t just undermine the future of these children, but we’ll be hurting our own as well.
What’s to become of the Syrian children? The lucky ones will move to Europe or the United States, where they’ll eventually learn the local language and attend schools and universities. They’ll dream of returning home, as most refugees do, but in the interim, they will become an integral part of our societies, contributing to our economies and cultural diversity.
Unfortunately, this future is for the select few. The vast majority will remain displaced and will miss years of education — if they ever return to school. According to the United Nations, 4 million Syrian children are currently not in school. If we don’t address this harsh reality, these children could face one (or more) of three likely outcomes: they could become professional beggars; they could be abused and trafficked as child labor or sexual slaves; or they could be recruited by terrorist organizations.
Please support any NGOs and churches taking care of children and educating them while war ravages their lands. Meanwhile, we can get involved in the public discourse on refugees and argue for their fair treatment and human rights.
Laila, my daughter, talks about her friend still in Aleppo and how she is working to just barely support her entire extended family of 22 people; but how long can she do that? How long will her job there be viable in the midst of such an insane war? We talk about how to get her out, which might not even be possible at this point, but then if we could get her out, would she be able to get a job – could she get a job to support herself and to send money back to the family that is still there? How do the Syrians make these kind of decisions, how do they leave their families behind, knowing they might never see them again?
Where is there a light at the end of this tunnel? We need to do more. More work with our governments to stop this war and the fighting. We especially need to invest in creating opportunities for the children. We, the people of the world, need to open our eyes and not only when we see a picture of a little “Omran” that makes us cry. We need to continue to ask, ‘How can this keep happening?’ and not just go back to our lives after a week goes by, until the next picture gets noticed. We need to pressure our governments to do something to Stop This War. We need to give the Syrian people a light at the end of their tunnel, so they can see where they will be going and what they will be doing and that they will be able to go back to their homeland, not just interminably stay in flex, living in temporary camps in Greece, Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey.
Most importantly, international governments and the people who elect their governments need to understand that if we remain complacent, the effects of the conflict on Syrian children will haunt us for years to come.
Please consider donating to help SCM in our work in Greece and Jordan and our education programs to help keep the Syrian children from being left behind in this world. Education will help keep them safer from the dangers of terrorist group recruitment, allow them to go back to Syria someday when the war has ended and be a part of the rebuilding, and keep their futures full of possibilities and opportunities that would be lost if they are not able to continue with their education. Thank you for your continued support!