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Syrian children share dreams of school in new documentary

Around half of Syrian school-aged children in Lebanon are out of school [UNICEF/UN043235/Romenzi]

Date of publication: 23 January, 2017

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A new interactive documentary providing an intimate look into the lives of Syrian children living as refugees in Lebanon was launched by UNICEF to provide first-hand accounts of challenges faced.
“I imagine a school to be very beautiful. With paintings of girls and boys on the walls,” says 13-year-old Dyana. But this is still a dream yet to come true for the youngster who has never been to school.

For a generation of Syrian children, their childhood memories are not of classrooms – but of conflict, war and trauma.

Around half of Syrian school-aged children in Lebanon – 187,000 – are out of school. The country hosts the largest number of refugees per capita in the world.

Instead of getting an education, thousands of Syrian children, some as young as six, are working in agriculture, factories, construction and on the streets.
Read also: The plight of Lebanon's working street children
“Poverty, social exclusion, insecurity and language barriers are preventing Syrian children from getting an education, leaving an entire generation disadvantaged, impoverished and at risk of being pushed into early marriage and child labour,” said UNICEF Lebanon Representative Tanya Chapuisat.
Instead of getting an education, thousands of Syrian children, some as young as six, are working in agriculture, factories, construction and on the streets
A new UNICEF interactive documentary provides an intimate look into the lives of Syrian school-aged children living as refugees in Lebanon.

#ImagineaSchool provides a first-hand account of the challenges Syrian refugees face in their struggle to access education.

"Listening to children's stories and realising the role that education plays in dealing with their plight, was heart-breaking," reveals photographer Alessio Romenzi who was part of the team. 

"In the photos, I worked to capture how much going to school means to them – hoping that my work could help them make a simple dream come true,” Romenzi explains.

Globally, education continues to be one of the least funded sectors in humanitarian appeals. In 2015, humanitarian agencies received only 31 percent of their education funding needs, down from 66 percent a decade ago.

“Working with the government, donors and partners, we have managed to get nearly half of Syrian refugee children living in Lebanon into learning. Now it‘s time to reach the other half so that every child gets a chance to get a quality education,” said Chapuisat.

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