Iraqi refugee students in Syria need help to go back to school

Lulls in conversation with 16-year-old Iraqi refugee Gailan are soon filled with the gentle inhale-exhale of sleep. Outside, the Damascus streets are silent, except for the shuffling of those woken early by the intense morning heat.

Financial constraints prevent a great many young Iraqis in Syria from studying. The gap in Gailan’s own education is now five years – an extended absence that is very difficult to bridge.

To help get dropouts like him back into schooling, UNICEF and its partners – including the European Union – have initiated a programme of remedial classes and out-of-hours vocational workshops. It is a programme of support for those who have a multitude of reasons for not attending school and one very powerful reason to return – their desire.

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