Though news coverage of the Syrian refugee crisis has come in waves, the mass exodus of Syrians to other countries has not slowed since a vicious civil war began in 2011. While we often hear of those fleeing to Europe, more than 2 million people are currently living as refugees in Jordan and Lebanon, which both share borders with Syria.
One of the areas that is most important for children living as refugees is schooling. Many children lost out on years of education while in Syria, and school is not a given in the countries where they now live. But education is not only critical to ensure a healthy future for children, but it’s also vital in times of displacement. Along with social inclusion, school can help children heal from the trauma they’ve experienced by offering a safe, stable environment when stability is scarce. With education and support, hope for a future becomes possible again.
This is why Nazarene schools in Lebanon and Jordan have been proving scholarships for refugee children. They’re helping children haunted by conflict hold on to hope for a better future. This year’s NCM Christmas Project will provide additional scholarships to give safety and stability to children caught in conflict.
Over the next few days, we will share the stories of children who have already benefitted from these scholarships.
After his father was kidnapped in Syria, Halil* and his mother and brother fled to Lebanon.
“I love my father and I am missing him every day,” Halil says. “If he exists our lives will be easier and more beautiful. I love my mom. She sacrificed so much for us.”
Today, Halil attends a Nazarene school, where he is working hard. Sometimes, school is a struggle, but he holds on to the hope that he will be able to achieve his dreams and help improve life for his family.
“The Nazarene school always encourages us and gives us hope to continue our education. They are like a family to me and they help me move forward and evolve in life,” he says.
Halil has also found hope in his newfound faith. “My spiritual life is great,” he says. “I know Jesus, and I took Him as a personal savior.”
Halil’s story is possible because of a scholarship. This year’s NCM Christmas Project will provide more scholarships so children like Halil can experience healing and hold on to hope for the future.
To support the NCM Christmas Project, go to ncm.org/Christmas.
(*All children’s names have been changed for their protection and safety.)