• Publication date: June 8, 2015

Get to Know Taif.. A little Syrian Hero

With more than one million Syrian refugees now registered in Lebanon, not only the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) is struggling to get them all their needs starting with basic survival items

With more than one million Syrian refugees now registered in Lebanon, not only the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) is struggling to get them all their needs starting with basic survival items, it also struggles to get them the most vulnerable ones like education.

 Your support is crucial at this time and a donation today could help to provide a place in school for a young woman like Taif…. the little Syrian hero.

“I want to be a mechanical engineer,” said Taif in perfect English. “But I have not been to school for over a year now.”

Taif the 14-year-old girl left her war-torn nation six months ago along with her parents and nine siblings. After crossing the border they found shelter in a tent in an informal settlement near the city of Zahle in the Bekaa Valley.

Taif says life in the tent has been difficult and the winter long; “More than anything I hope for peace so that we can go home and I can go back and study.”

Taif says she loved going to school in Syria. Her favorite subject is mathematics but she also studied English, Arabic, science and civic studies and, was hoping to go to university, just like her older brothers.

But, as the war swept through the country basic services ceased and by the time Taif fled Syria with her family she had already been out of school for six whole months.

“I enjoyed going to school very much. I brought all of my school books with me when we left so that I can keep practicing and maybe they will be useful.”

While Taif was a top performing grade nine student in Syria, the different Lebanese curriculum requires that she repeat that year in Lebanon. But, with nearly 200,000 out of school refugee children in Lebanon, places at higher grade schools are limited and Taif has not found a place yet. 

“I hope that I will get to go to school here. There is not much for me to do so I just stay in the tent and help my mother or play with my best friend Maia.”

Urgent funds needed

UNHCR is working hard to get as many children and young people like Taif enrolled in second shift classes or other informal education over the coming year.

Taif has been put at the top of a priority list with our local partner and we hope she will be back in school shortly. But, with around 12,000 Syrian’s continuing to cross into Lebanon each week, funds are urgently needed for all of our life-saving emergency work.