Volunteers in the Rukban Camp for displaced Syrians have used their resources to build a school for children who are unable to receive education otherwise.
In the Homs Province of Syria, along the country’s border with Jordan, lies the Rukban Camp for displaced people. Home to some 100,000 displaced Syrians, the camp suffers from some of the worst conditions across the whole of Syria. With the war in Syria entering its seventh year, a generation of Syrians are growing up here, isolated in the middle of the desert and subject to harsh weather.
The isolation and scarcity has had immense impact on the lives of the children here, many of whom are growing up without adequate education, potentially depriving them of a viable future. It is with this in mind that a group of volunteers here in Rukban have used what little they have to build a schoolhouse from scratch, using sun-baked clay bricks.
To any outsider, the sight of the clay-brick buildings here would be something out of the Middle Ages. Despite their simplicity, however, these buildings offer better protection from the elements and the heat compared to the tents provided by international aid organisations. The school can accommodate 50 students, many of whom either had no education or have missed out on so much that they might as well start from scratch. The teachers here say that the children are eager to learn and that the school offers them an opportunity to keep busy in a region that has little to offer them.
The volunteers who built this school hope that they can add more buildings, bolstering them with tents in a bid to accommodate more students. It is estimated that some 3,000 children receive education across the whole of the Rukban Camp. However, many more remain out of school, raising the fears of an entire generation of Syrian children being lost to destitution.
The problems experienced in Rukban is not unique but a common issue encountered across the whole of Syria. The country’s war has hit the education system particularly hard, with many schools remaining damaged or understaffed.