It’s safe to say that children are the Syrian war’s greatest victims. Simple pleasures like holding teddy bears, eating fruit, and playing outside are only distant memories from a time before crisis began.
Six years of drastic violence, torture, death, and starvation have uprooted the lives of more than 1.7 million Syrian children who are out of school. Places that were once safe for them — hospitals, playgrounds, homes — have become death traps. Many have lost their parents, many more have lost their childhood.
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At the end of 2016, in the midst of escalating violence, a UNICEF-supported psychological support program reached over 500,000 children, and encouraged them to engage in cathartic activities, like drawing, to help them process their experiences.
These beautiful drawings illustrate their sorrow and hope for a better future.
Ammar, 6, draws at a UNICEF-supported child friendly space at a shelter for families displaced by the ongoing violence in east Aleppo city in the Jibreen area, on the outskirts of Aleppo city, Syrian Arab Republic, Friday 9 December 2016. “My shoes are always dirty here because it is muddy and unclean," says Ammar of the shelter.
“I want a house with walls and two windows and a door,” says Abdulmajeed, 13, holding up his drawing, at a shelter for families displaced by the ongoing violence in eastern Aleppo city, in the Jibreen area on the outskirts of Aleppo city, Syrian Arab Republic, Friday 9 December 2016. Abdulmjeed arrived ten days ago at one of the shelters in Jibreen. Conditions at the shelter are basic with little protection from cold and rain.