Five years after the conflict in Syria first broke out, there are now 6 million children in need of humanitarian assistance. Thousands have died, many more live under siege with precious little food, and almost half of those in need have had to leave their homes.
ShelterBox has been supporting people affected by the crisis since 2012, in the Syrian region in surrounding countries such as Iraq as well as Greece. In the midst of this conflict, we are painfully aware that children are some of the hardest hit – many will remember nothing else than the fighting.
Recently, ShelterBox partners Hand in Hand for Syria found a whole classroom of children having lessons in an underground cave in the province of Idlib.
In this video, the team from Hand in Hand for Syria asks the teachers and children what it’s like working in a cave, and what supplies they need to help their lessons. Incredibly, they don’t ask for a proper school with desks and a playground, but simply for schoolbags and textbooks.
Together with Hand in Hand for Syria, ShelterBox has set-up large UN specification tents in Idlib province, some of which will be used as classrooms so that children will have somewhere light and ventilated to learn.
Sam Hewett, ShelterBox Operations Coordinator, said: ‘Some of the tents we’ve provided are going to be used as classrooms, so that they don’t have to learn underground. This is just one example of the extreme conditions people are living in.’
Sam said: ‘‘It is distressing to think of children living in these awful conditions, often without safe shelter, heating, even basic food and sanitation. Partner agencies are doing great work delivering aid in difficult and dangerous territory.
It is so uplifting to see images of children receiving these items, showing moments of happiness as ShelterBox clothing is given to these most deserving children.
As the conflict moves on into its sixth year, ShelterBox is continuing to support the families caught up in the crisis.
However, there is no end in sight for the conflict. There are still thousands of families in need of shelter and we need your help to reach them.