Posted by Peace Direct on
Image credit: Dan Meyers via Unsplash
This week, we are reflecting on the importance of mental health in peacebuilding.
War can cause devastation to people’s lives, homes and communities. It leaves people fearful and isolated. Great loneliness can often be felt by those impacted by violent conflict. To mark mental health awareness week, we are sharing an example of the amazing support our partners provide to those facing mental health issues in the midst of conflict.
In Syria, more than eleven years of war have left a deep psychological impact on the country. The trauma of war has caused extreme stress, anxiety and depression for many, especially children and young people. An estimated 50% of Syrian children display symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Nour is just 12 years old, she lost her father during the war in Syria, and was forced to leave her home with her family to Aleppo, in the North. They lived in a camp there. Her mother married again and she was left with her brother and his wife. Nour was very sad and felt lonely, “I wish all camps will disappear very soon, and the people suffering will no longer suffer.” During this difficult time, our partner Sawaad’na Al Souriya provided the opportunity for her to study and mix with other children, helping her to feel less alone.
Before the Sawaad’na educational center, Nour’s had not attended school due to the conflict. Here she started learning to read and write.
After learning to read, I find myself between the books
Nour and her family had no electricity, so she had to wake up at sunrise to get her homework done. She was one of the best students at the center in all of her subjects.
After studying for one year, Nour passed her exams and moved to a formal school to continue her education. Through this project, Nour has been able to move closer towards her aspirations in life:
I dream to be a doctor and treat sick people for free
Thousands of children like Nour have been displaced and miss out on school because of war.
Children like Nour are the future of Syria. Their mental and physical wellbeing must be priorities in all efforts to rebuild the country.
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