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No Lost Generation

Appeal Final Update Autumn 2020: Providing education and training in Northwest Syria in increasingly difficult circumstances

Over the past two years, the Congregational Federation has been supporting a vital Christian Aid project providing education and training for young people in Northwest Syria.

The humanitarian situation in Northwest Syria has continued to deteriorate over the last 12 months. The escalation in violence in the region between December 2019 and March 2020, which resulted in the displacement of over 1 million people, half of which were children, followed by the COVID-19 pandemic has further complicated the operating environment in Syria and has worsened the living conditions and access to services for the local population.

Syria    Syria

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the centres have been mostly closed since March 2020, and the activities are currently being implemented through online platforms. Young people have been provided with internet cards in order to support their access, and access to e-books has been made available in place of the library services in the centres. To ensure the safety of our partner staff and of beneficiaries, PPE has also been provided and social distancing measures are taken with any in person activity or service. However, despite this incredibly challenging and difficult situation, the project being delivered by Christian Aid and its local partner has seen positive developments over the past year with all four centres became fully operational and delivering educational and training activities in Northwest Syria.

Improving Youth Skills
Mahmoud, like many young men in north west Syria faces unemployment. Despite repeated displacement due to the conflict disrupting his education, he graduated from university in 2019. However, with a growing lack of jobs for young people in north west Syria, Mahmoud soon found himself unemployed.

SyriaWhilst volunteering, Mahmoud enrolled at the local Darna Centre, an education and life skills centre, run by a Christian Aid partner and funded by the European Union, to improve his IT, project management, English, and communication skills.

Juggling four courses and his family’s needs, his trainers were impressed by his desire to learn and awarded him a three-month internship on completing his courses. With increased confidence and practical experience, Mahmoud could apply for jobs, and was soon successful in gaining a position at an international organisation providing medical and relief to people impacted by the Syrian conflict.

SyriaCentres like the Darna provide a safe space for young people to access remedial education short term vocational training and psychosocial support services.

To date, 1604 young people have been provided with remedial education (Arabic, Maths, English, Physics), 1360 with short-term vocational training (English, IT, Project Management, Accounting, M&E), and 1102 with access to psychosocial support services, all through centres like the Darna Centre - safe spaces for young people to access vital education .

In an increasingly deteriorating situation for Syrians living in the Northwest, education and employment remain two of the sectors with the greatest needs and improving youth skills is a priority for Syria’s younger generations. We recognise that young people in Syria are particularly at risk of becoming a lost generation and your support helps to make sure that this does not happen.

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