Children of Syria: Aya’s Story
Violence is rapidly escalating in Syria, and the conflict continues to take a terrible toll on the country’s young. More than 1 million children are now refugees outside Syria’s borders. Within Syria, 2 million children are displaced. In total, more than 4 million children have been put at risk by this brutal civil war.
The sheer numbers are staggering, and behind them are the stories of children whose lives have been ripped apart. Eight-year-old Aya is one of those million children whose families have been forced by the violence to flee their homeland. Today, she lives is a makeshift tent in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley. Lebanon is now home to more than 700,000 Syrian refugees, more than any other country.
Aya is playful and energetic. She has a deep love of learning despite losing two years of school. She is trying to hold on to a normal child’s life even as her world has dramatically changed. “I love and miss Syria,” she says.
Like Aya, more than three-quarters of these child refugees are under the age of 11. They have arrived in Lebanon—or Egypt, Iraq, Jordan or Turkey—with firsthand experience of devastation and war. UNICEF is working within Syria and in each of these neighboring countries to protect an entire generation of children whose present, and future, has been placed at terrible risk. Learn more about UNICEF’s unprecedented efforts to meet these children’s urgent needs.