Syrian children have suffered catastrophically since the start of the Civil War seven years ago. One million children have been orphaned. The Syrian education infrastructure is totally decimated. More than 760,000 displaced children have missed whole years of schooling. A third of Syrian households are now headed up by a single mother, having lost the husband in the conflict. This can be immensely stressful, with women required to provide emotional and financial support for their families.
Orphanages and family centres, therefore, play a vital role in improving the lives of these women and children. In 2015, SKT Welfare decided to take a leading role in addressing the needs of widowed mothers and their children and created the Springs of Hope Family Centre in Reyhanli, a Turkish town near the Syrian border.
Before the war, there were more than 22,000 schools in Syria. Since then, over 7,400 schools have shut. 25% of all schools in Syria are no longer used as places of learning, having been destroyed or used for other purposes. As a result, 2.1 million Syrian school children do not have the possibility to have regular schooling. More than 700,000 Syrian refugee children in other countries are not attending school. Most children are up to six years behind in their reading and maths skills.
With children having few opportunities to advance their education, the same can be said for Syrian women who wish to upskill. Many have been widowed, and single mothers face certain social stigmas and have troubles finding regular, well-paid work. Displaced women and their children must face the challenges of living in a new country. It is completely up to the woman to feed and clothe her children, as well as pay for their education. This is a daunting and unimaginable task for refugees who have fled to find safety.
Springs of Hope
The vast displacement and breakup of families in Syria has created a need for a safe space to promote education, healing and supportive housing for Syrian refugees. SKT Welfare created the Springs of Hope Family Centre to address the needs of orphans and widowed mothers with children.
We provide accommodation, meals, schooling, counselling, employment opportunities and other services for the mothers and children residing there. With a maximum capacity for 70 mothers and 215 children, the centre operates full-time thanks to the generous donations provided to SKT Welfare.
One of the most important aspects of the Centre’s endeavours are opportunities provided for the
mothers to upskill; enabling them to seek employment and more independence. Psychological and wellbeing support is provided to the widowed mothers and orphans to help them cope with the immense trauma they’ve experienced. This is vital to helping them adapt to their new lives.
Reintroducing refugee children to a stable, safe environment that includes a regular school day is paramount to the success of this vulnerable population.
Springs of Hope is doing fantastic work helping widowed mothers and their children. The centre wouldn’t be able to run without your help. £20 a month will sponsor an orphan to get all the help they need and to ensure we don’t lose a generation of Syrian children. To donate, please click here.