Friday, August 7, 2015

A School for Syrian Refugee Children

UNICEF reports that over 2.6 million Syrian children have been unable to attend school for three or more years.

"We had a lot of students who missed one or two years from their academic years,"  Hazar al-Mahayni, the principal and founder of Al Salam School in Reyhanli in southern Turkey, told NPR. "So we try in summer to give them the chance to pass a full year in three months."

The NPR report goes on to note:

Mahayni, a 63-year-old pharmacist from Montreal, opened Al Salam in 2012. ... When the Syrian crisis began in 2011, others donated food, clothing and even weapons. But Mahayni insisted that education was the answer.

"The future of Syria will come from these children," she says in a Skype connection from Montreal.

She tapped into private donors in Canada and the U.S., and partnered with a Canadian school and an American aid group. She now divides her time between Canada and Al Salam's students in Reyhanli.

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