Helping young Syrians support peace

A Syrian refugee walks through Islahiye camp in southern Turkey. © Jodi Hilton/IRIN

"Coming here is really a changing point in my life," said 17-year-old Syrian refugee Sara*, after attending one of our ‘peace education’ sessions in Turkey.

Over 4.5 million people have fled the violence in Syria and live as refugees in neighbouring countries. Many have experienced the death of family and friends, and are suffering extreme psychological trauma. The loss of identity, sense of belonging and hope for the future they face is unimaginable to many of us; their experiences of war have left indelible scars on their minds.

International Alert’s peace education programme, run in partnership with local organisations in Syria, Lebanon and Turkey, is helping to address this issue. We support young people to deal with their experience of the war and displacement in a supportive and structured programme that aims to improve their psychological wellbeing.

For young people like Sara, this can make all the difference in helping them to regain hope for the future and ultimately lead more peaceful and fulfilled lives. Before joining our programme, Sara would spend much of her time indoors at home, alone. "I had lost the ability to deal and interact with people, and the ability to protect my personal space."

Now she has a greater sense of hope and wants to spread the message of peace further. "I will try to transfer what I am learning here to my sisters and people I know."

Help us to reach more people like Sara. Support our work today.

Want to find out more about what we do? Visit our Syria webpage here.

*This name has been changed to protect her identity.