Nearly nine years of civil war in Syria has devastated the countries educational system, with over 7,000 schools damaged or destroyed. The Al-Thawra Banin School in Aleppo was one of them.
More than 2,000 students returned to school in September, which marked the second year since the school reopened after being heavily damaged during the war. SOS Children’s Villages rebuilt the school last year with the support of donors.
“My happiness is indescribable,” said school director Hassan Al Sharif at the time of the opening in 2018. ”Students are back and we will all work together to discharge any negative emotions they had during the years of war.”
Approximately 2 million children are not in school in Syria, according to UNICEF. The UN agency says a combination of factors, including displacement, lack of schools, economic hardship and security concerns are obstacles for children in Syria to fulfil their right to education.
SOS Children’s Villages Syria visited Eastern Aleppo in 2017 to assess the needs of children and families in an area that had once been a war zone. Believing education is a powerful means to transform societies, SOS Children’s Villages committed to rebuild the Al Thawra Banin School. The school, originally established in 1964, suffered 85% damage during attacks on the city in 2014.
The reconstruction began in August 2017 and the official reopening took place in August 2018. The rebuilt school, which holds classes in morning and evening shifts to accomodate more students, contains 19 classrooms and five staff rooms.
Abd Alrahman, a 10-year-old student, had to flee Aleppo with his family and moved to Idlib to escape the fighting. “I lived there for four years without going to school,” says Abd Alrahman. “Recently we came back to Aleppo, and I found that there is a new school in our neighbourhood, and I am happy to be back to school again.”
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