Tomorrow’s Children: Syria’s Not Lost Generation!
We envision a time where the innocents are supported and empowered, where families are strengthened, environment and tradition are preserved, and where development brings opportunity. We meet the innocents in their places of refuge, listen to their voices that have been muted by the sounds of bombs and tank shelling, and authentically reproduce and amplify them. No child should be forgotten and every story must be heard.
The UNHCR estimates that there are 7 million IDPs who have been directly impacted by the conflict within Syria’s borders and more than 4.5 million refugees in neighboring countries. About half of these refugees are children, representing what is now being called “The Lost Generation.” The war has robbed Syria’s children of their childhood, their homes, their schools, their future, their friends, and their families.
These child refugees are Syria’s future leaders, but the fear, trauma and physical injuries from which they continue to suffer constitute a huge part of the human suffering of the Syrian people. Only 100,000 children of the documented refugees have been able to continue their education, and only 1/5 of them have received counseling. Currently, 7.5 million Syrian children are affected by the ongoing crisis.
Based on interviews we conducted with dozens of Syrian child refugees, we learned much about their daily struggle. One of the main facts we observed is that refugee children are often unable to attend school to continue their education, even at the primary level. Instead, they are forced to work for long hours standing on their feet, carrying heavy boxes, or working behind sewing machines earning less than 5 dollars — minimum wage in USA is 7.75 per hour — for a workday that can last up to 12 hours. The goal of our project is to raise awareness about child labor. Syria’s children must go back to school as soon as possible to obtain their basic right to education. Our aim is to establish SANAD School on the Syrian-Turkish border where Syrian child refugees learn the universal skills of the English language and mathematics. We believe this will improve their living conditions and help protect them from exploitation.
Tomorrow’s Children is a documentary film project that focuses on the stories of Syrian child refugees subject to child labor. The project consists of six standalone interviews and a short documentary. Six children have opened up their hearts and shared their heroic stories with us. They are Syria’s Not Lost Generation.