Samira*, 14, in the camp she was displaced to and currently lives in with her family in northern Idlib, North West Syria.

As schools in North West Syria were suspended due to the Coronavirus pandemic, Save the Children started providing students like Samira* with remote education instead. 

Distance Learning Is Making All the Difference for One Syrian Refugee

After nine years of conflict in Syria, 14-year old Samira* has spent more than half of her childhood surrounded by war. Forced to flee for their lives, Samira and her family have been displaced for six long years. They now live in a tent in a camp in northern Idlib, North West Syria like millions other Syrian refugees.

Child refugees like Samira have already been pushed to their limits, having seen and experienced things that no child ever should. In December 2019, the conflict in North West Syria took on a new level of horror when the violence escalated. Displaced families had no where left to run as bombs fell from the sky, one after the other.

Robbed of the childhood every girl and boy deserves, Samira has missed out on too much school and been deprived of so many basic services. Sadly, 2.1 million Syrian children are out of school. But thanks to Save the Children, Samira was able to enroll in a Temporary Learning Space in the camp where she lives.

Despite her love of school, Samira’s disability made it difficult for her to thrive in a crowded classroom for a full day. She was born with only one lung and infantile paralysis in her left hand. Breathing difficulties made it near-impossible for her to spend a long time in class, surrounded by many other students. And her paralysis caused her to feel self-conscious at times.

Samira left the temporary learning space early each day, and after a bit, didn’t return at all.

As the coronavirus pandemic began to spread, schools in North West Syria and around the world closed. Nearly 70% of students worldwide—1.2 billion children—found themselves out of school. Most don’t have options for remote learning. But thanks to Save the Children, Samira does.

“Through these WhatsApp groups and our follow-ups with Samira,” her teacher says, “we noticed she started becoming more responsive and giving. Due to the Infantile Paralysis in her hand, she used to be afraid and had a shyness barrier.”

“She is one of the top students now at school,” her mother proudly notes. “She really enjoys studying.”

Samira says she wants to be a teacher when she grows up. “I am enrolled in fourth grade but I should be in seventh grade,” she explains. “We never had the time to enroll in school (because of the) move to different areas. Nowadays, I write normally. I do my homework, take a picture and send it to (my teacher). Thank goodness now we are studying at home.”

Save the Children is helping families around the world get through this pandemic by delivering life-saving supplies, information and care.  We are using our decades of experience with kids in crisis to give parents guidance and tools to reassure and support their children during this difficult time. Thanks to the support of our donors, we are strengthening our programs to provide health and education support, and responding to the unique needs of girls and women, as well as refugee, migrant and displaced communities. But none of this is possible without your support.

Please donate today to help children like Samira learn, survive and thrive. 

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