Aleppo’s children have abandoned their studies to work in a city suffering from poverty, soaring food prices and a lack of schools, many of which have been destroyed by ongoing fighting.
“I see the same painful sight daily of children working in dangerous conditions as carpenters and blacksmiths or selling bread and biscuits, amidst the ruins of demolished neighborhoods,” Ra’id a-Sheikh, an Aleppo-based journalist, told Syria Direct Sunday.
“Most child laborers lost their fathers in the war, so their mothers, in desperate need of an additional income source, take their children out of school and send them to find any sort of work, from learning a trade to manning small roadside stands,” he explained.
For many parents a basic education is a luxury they cannot afford for their children.
A young boy, reportedly in a rebel-held Aleppo neighborhood, mans a juice cart. Photo courtesy The Syrian Revoluation 2011.
“It pains me that my son–an eleven-year old, who should be outside playing, or studying at school–is forced to work,” Abu Ahmad, a mechanic in a small Aleppo car-repair shop, was quoted as saying in March by Jordanian news-network Arabi 21.
“All the schools are closed and the price of goods is monstrous these days…we just don’t have a choice, we’re helpless,” confided Abu Ahmad.
One in five schools in Syria is damaged, destroyed or has been converted into a shelter for displaced families, leaving an estimated 2.6 million children out of school–more than a third of Syria’s children.
– Photo courtesy of Douma.Revolution