Regaining confidence and love for learning

Marking the impact of 11 years of conflict on children in Syria

Antwan Chnkdji and Rasha Alsabbagh
16 March 2022

Aleppo city, northwest Syria, February 2022 – Maram was four years old when she lost her leg. “Mum, if I eat all my vegetables, will my foot grow again?” recounts her mother, Sahar. “She was too young to understand what had happened and I would try to act calm when she asked,” added Sahar.

Growing up during the conflict, Maram also grew increasingly concerned of loud noises. With the ongoing fighting, her life was constantly upended as the family kept moving. When she turned seven, she started school. Some of the children teased her for using a crutch and she started missing school more and more. Her family then returned to their old neighbourhood.

Girl studying on floor whit crutches next to her
UNICEF/Syria/2022/Danielle Deeb
Maram, 12, studies at home in Al-Jazmati neighborhood, Aleppo city, northwest Syria, on 24 February 2022.

Maram was able to get a prosthetic leg through an NGO and she felt more at ease.Little later, she started visiting a UNICEF -supported centre near her house. “I liked the way the volunteers at the centre treated us. They were friendly and helpful,” said Maram.

Three girls in classroom
UNICEF/Syria/2022/Danielle Deeb
Maram, 12, in class at school in Al-Jazmati neighborhood, Aleppo city, northwest Syria, on 24 February 2022.
Girl writing on whiteboard in classroom
UNICEF/Syria/2022/Danielle Deeb
Maram, 12, in class at school in Al-Jazmati neighborhood, Aleppo city, northwest Syria, on 24 February 2022.

Her attitude towards going to school started changing after going to the centre. She regained her self-confidence and is excited about resuming her education. Maram was also assigned a caseworker to follow up on her progress.

In Aleppo, UNICEF is supporting 3,700 children with disabilities at centres and 80 schools with inclusive education.

“I liked the way the volunteers at the centre treated us. They were friendly and helpful,”

Maram, 12
Girl with school backpack posing in front of destructions
UNICEF/Syria/2022/Danielle Deeb
Maram, 12, on her way to the UNICEF -supported centre in Al-Jazmati neighborhood, Aleppo city, northwest Syria, on 24 February 2022