What happens in a classroom? There is learning, teaching, the odd tantrum, fun and games. Well, this is what should happen in a classroom.
But in Syria, over five long years of conflict, terrifying things have happened, and continue to happen, in classrooms. The sounds of laughter and learning have been replaced with the sounds of war. Teachers are arrested, displaced families take refuge in abandoned classrooms and makeshift hospitals are set up in them to treat the wounded.
The numbers hint at the horror – one in four schools in Syria has been destroyed, damaged or used to shelter displaced people. A fifth of Syria's teachers have fled the country. Five years of conflict has cost the Syrian economy an estimated US$275 billion in lost growth opportunities – money that is lost forever and will never be spent on education and children’s futures.
One of the most shocking figures for me though is the number of combined school years lost due to this conflict – a mind-boggling 24.5 million years.
But how do you show the world what is happening, short of taking them to Syria? We created this video to give a glimpse into life as a classroom in Syria. My hope is that it will inspire the international community to do everything in its power to bring peace to Syria so the sounds of laughter and learning once again ring out in classrooms across the country.
To donate to Syria relief, which includes remedial classes for children, visit our donation page. Share this video on social media using the hashtag #NoLostGeneration.