Starting Over

In the midst of conflict, Bayan looks ahead

February 23, 2016

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©UNHCR/B. Diab

Fourteen-year-old Bayan has seen more disruption than many people see in a lifetime. Four years ago, her family lived a comfortable life in the Mashhad neighborhood of Eastern Aleppo. But then the Battle of Aleppo began and barrel bombs rained from the sky. And Bayan’s family made the first of the four moves they would make in the next few years, trying to escape the danger.

It seemed as if school days were over for Bayan and her siblings. And they were, at least for a time.

“Our family really value education but the worsening displacement conditions forced my 13-year-old brother to leave school and help my father in selling lubricants.” Said Bayan.

But now she is back in class. She and her sister, Sidra, are attending special remedial classes at a UNHCR community center in the Tishreen Shelter in Aleppo.  They are making up for lost time and benefitting from the special programs the center offers — programs designed to help them cope with the trauma of displacement and to prepare them to avoid early marriage, and gender-based violence.

“I feel more confident and powerful every time I learn something new,” Bayan said, with a smile lighting up her face.

She hopes to keep on learning. She and her sister have their hearts set on becoming doctors. “We are striving for a better life — which we deserve!” she said, smiling again.

Centers like this are one way UNHCR works to keep the children of countries in conflict from becoming a lost generation. The power behind them? The people who give to help refugees — more than half of whom are children – hang on until they reach a safe and permanent home.

Right now, there are more refugees in the world than there have been at any time since post-World War II. Please donate to provide shelter, food, water, and healthcare to refugee families in Syria and neighboring countries, South Sudan, Central African Republic, Ukraine, and anywhere where conflict, violence, and persecution have driven people from their homes. Your gift will help kids like Bayan restart their lives.