Thousands of refugees have fled the war in Syria to Egypt in the last few years. Child rights organisation Plan International is providing assistance to refugee families in Cairo and Alexandria, particularly children.
In partnership with the NGO Ansan, Plan International is also offering classes for refugee children who struggle with the language gap, or who missed out on
classes during the war in Syria.
Hanin, 14, a Syrian girl from Homs city in Syria. She came to Egypt four years ago with her parents and three sisters, and her older brother and his wife. Hanin says: “Everything changed in my life after I left Syria. I miss my brother and sister, my home and my friends.”
Maya, 14, is a Syrian girl who came to Egypt three years ago with her parents and brother. Her family at first refused to leave Syria, but in the end they decided to come to Egypt because of the bad situation and because the children couldn’t go to school and continue their education.
Everything changed in Maya’s life when she came to Egypt. Before, she was like every child and wanted to play most of the time, but when she left her home she felt that she had more responsibility and had to focus on her studies.
Wedad, 14, is a Syrian girl from Al Ghota Al Sharkeya in Syria. She came to Egypt four years ago with her parents and four brothers and sisters. Wedad’s father has been unemployed since they came to Egypt, because he was working as a florist in Syria and hasn’t managed to find the same job in Egypt.
Wedad’s family depend on aid from UN and from her two brothers who are working.
Nawara, 13, and Nada, 11, are Syrian sisters studying in the same school in Cairo in Egypt. They came to Egypt three years ago with their family. Nawara has had problems with her education because she didn’t go to the school after the war started in Syria. She is still in the fourth grade in elementary school.
Nada is in the third grade in elementary school, she dreams of being a teacher and misses her school in Syria.
In Cairo, Plan International is supporting schools for refugees with school kits and new equipment for classrooms, such as computers, white boards and desks. It is also renovating the schools and improving water and sanitation facilities. The work is expected to benefit at least 2500 students.
Arjimand Hussein, Emergency Response Manager, Plan International Egypt, based in Cairo, says: “What we understood initially when we started our operations is that a lot of children needed support to access education.
“There were some children who were able to access public education, but there were still children who were unable to. So our approach was to support their families so they could get an education, and at the same time support them by holding what we call remedial classes.
“We understand that these children have a language barrier, and there is a barrier to them understanding the Egyptian curriculum and Egyptian accent. So we support them with special classes to help them to bridge the gap and understand the local curriculum.”