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Young people of Syria: six years on

Rory Dunne, a Transition Year student from Coláiste Cois Life, Lucan, was just ten when the war in Syria began On the sixth anniversary of the war, he reflects on the generation of young people from Syria whose education has been destroyed by war.


It all began when I was 10, but now that I am 16 and in Transition Year, the war in Syria is still ongoing.

Tuesday 15 March marks the sixth anniversary of war in Syria. For nearly a third of my life this conflict has been active and it is still very much so to this day. That’s six years of families living under fear of their loved ones getting harmed, severely injured or killed.

I’m currently doing my work experience at Christian Aid Ireland, an overseas aid charity based in Dublin. During this time, I’ve realised how severe the situation is in Syria has become.

Over the last six years, millions of people have fled to other countries in seek of a safe place they can call home. 1.7 million young people have been forced to leave school and another 1.3 million children are at risk of dropping out. So in total, three million children are being deprived of an education because of the great threat to their well-being, while travelling to and from school.

Here at Christian Aid Ireland, their goal is to ‘end poverty’ and with your help they can achieve that.

Honestly, I was appalled with the statistics I have read this week. More than 4.9 million refugees have fled Syria and more than 400,000 people have died. Plus, over than 7 million people are displaced within Syria with no home to call their own.

During my time at Christian Aid, I learned about a boy called Hammoudi. Hammoudi (6) was born in Damascus, Syria with complex physical and mental disabilities. He was given two life-saving operations by the Syrian health service, but his third operation was cancelled when violence overtook the country. In 2013, he was forced to flee to Lebanon with his family.

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Thanks to your donations and with the help of Christian Aid and the Lebanese Physically Handicapped Union, Hammoudi has received vital treatment and learned to walk for the first time. 

More than one in five refugees suffer from some form of impairment, whether from birth, illness, accident, or a conflict-related injury. Syrian refugees with disabilities often can't get the care they need.

I will soon begin my Leaving Certificate cycle and I hope that by the time I leave school, the war will have ended. I cannot imagine being deprived of an education because of war. No Syrian child should be robbed of their education and chance at achieving their dreams.

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Syria Crisis Appeal - War-scarred Syrian families desperately need you support.

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