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.
When Rasha* grows up, she dreams of becoming a doctor.
“I like to help people,” she says. “I would like to go back again to Syria to help my country to develop and progress. I wish we can live in peace and love.”
The 13-year-old and her mother and four siblings fled the violence in Syria. “We left … because of the current situation,” she says.
Rasha attends the Nazarene school in her area, where she started after spending two years learning English through a partnering organization, Heart for Lebanon. At school, she is studying hard and making friends. The school has given her the hope and confidence to fight for a better tomorrow.
“I thank God for everything—for the difficult and the beautiful things that happened in my life,” she says “I believe that God is always with us and He will never abandon us. This is my hope in life.”
More children like Rasha are coming to Jordan and Lebanon every day. The Nazarene schools are there to help them acclimate, grow, and hope for a better tomorrow.
Rasha’s story is possible because of a scholarship. This year’s NCM Christmas Project will provide more scholarships so children like Rasha 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.)