In photos: The precious objects bringing comfort to Syrian refugees
Children attending Unicef Makani centres in Za’atari refugee camp, Jordan, share the stories and memories behind the items they brought from their homeland
As the war in Syria comes to its final stages, the future of the country and the whole region hangs in the balance. When the times comes, it will be the responsibility of Syrian children to rebuild their country – yet many children entering their second decade of life have seen nothing but conflict, displacement and violence having grown up in the midst of communities ripped apart by conflict.
Many of the children who live in Za’atari refugee camp carried an object with them after they were forced to leave their homes in Syria due to the war: photos of their fathers who were killed in the war, toys which comforted them as they fled the conflict; and even a set of house keys, with the hopes to use them when they return to Syria.
However, in 2018 alone, 1,106 children were killed in the fighting – the highest ever number of children killed in a single year since the start of the war. These are only the numbers that the UN has been able to verify, which means the true figures are likely much higher.
Mine contamination is now the leading cause of child casualties across the country, with unexploded ordnance accounting for 434 deaths and injuries last year. Last year saw 262 attacks against education and health facilities – also a record high.
Unicef has been at the forefront of the response to the Syria crisis since March 2011, reaching more than 80 per cent of the population last year with healthcare, water, education and psychosocial care.
The future for Syrian children is at a critical stage and six out of 10 Syrian children are still in dire need of humanitarian assistance.
You can support Unicef’s work in helping Syrian children to rebuild their lives here