From Syria to Lebanon: The story of Lana

Due to the ongoing conflict in Syria more than 3 million people have fled the country. A large number of them have crossed the border into neighbouring country Lebanon. Half of the refugees in Lebanon are children - children who sometimes have not gone to school or played outside for over two years. One of them is Lana (12) from Aleppo. She fled with her family to Lebanon.
20 October 2014

No more school
"I have not been able to go to a real school for over two years," Lana explains. "My parents say it is too expensive here." Therefore, she sits at home all day and sometimes she helps her mother in the kitchen with potatoes and beans. Lana and her sisters and brother don’t have any toys to play with, and there is no television. "Mom forbids us to play outside. Apparently, that is too dangerous."

In Syria Lana went to school. She would have been in fifth grade by now. "In Aleppo I loved to go to school," she says. "I want to be a doctor someday. But to become one, I have to have the opportunity to go to school."

A horrible sound
In Aleppo the family lived in a big house, with neighbours and family living close by. Now everyone has fled. "I miss my friends, my school and my house," Lara explains. "I have heard that it has been destroyed."

"When we lived in Aleppo, we could hear the war every day. The planes made a horrible sound. I found it very frightening and my sisters were crying. Lebanon has saved our lives."

Safe Space
Recently, Lana started to go to one of War Child’s Safe Spaces. This Safe Space is a safe environment where children can process their negative experiences through creative workshops. Children who haven’t gone to school for a long time are getting further training, so they can catch up. Ultimately, the goal is that they can enter the regular education system again.

For the first time, Lana can play again and meet other kids. "This morning at six we already went to the Safe Space. When the doors opened at eight, I was standing in front!" she says. "Teacher Hassan made it a nice morning. It was a wonderful day."

More on the situation in Syria and the work of War Child