After almost six years of conflict, the children of Syria have been left with little hope. Their homes and schools have been destroyed, and many of their friends or family members killed. They are wondering what their future holds.

Sidra, 14, is a Syrian refugee from Homs. She was forced to flee her home because of the intense fighting and was separated from her father who is still in Syria.


Now, Sidra attends a UNICEF-supported Makani centre in Mafraq, Jordan, where every day she is given access to education opportunities, and to opportunities to learn and explore ways of integrating into her new community. She’s also able to receive psychosocial assistance to cope with the pressures that come from having lived through the war and having lost her home and possessions in the fighting.

“I want to be a pediatrician,” said Sidra. “I want to help the children.” At the Makani centre, Sidra is one of several youth who have started a theatre group to address violence and other difficulties young people and their families are facing after having fled their homes, schools and livelihoods in Syria.

“We want everyone in the whole world to stop violence,” she said.

Today, Sidra dreams of being a doctor when she grows up.

“I want to be a pediatrician,” said Sidra. “I want to help the children.”

Thanks to the support of Canada and Canadians, there are now 223 Makani centres in camps and host communities across Jordan where girls and boys like Sidra can access a suite of high-quality services including psychosocial support, education and life skills training.

Makani centres use an integrated approach to expand protection, learning and youth-engagement opportunities for vulnerable children.

In October alone, UNICEF-supported Makani centres reached 146,008 children – more than half of them girls – with psychosocial support services.

Thanks to donor support, Makani centres are also reaching 46,991 children with informal education this year.

For the children of Syria, time to be with friends and to learn brings both a return to normal life today and hope for the future.

To help UNICEF continue providing life-saving support to the children of Syria, click here.

Geographic Regions: