Afrin children in Shehba hope to return home
War and displacement have significantly affected the people of Afrin, particularly the children who after the occupation of their homes were forced to live in IDP camps in the Shehba region.
Realities are always painful, yet the pain is even bigger for the children of Afrin who have been forced into displacement due to occupation and genocide, now seeking refuge at IDP camps in Shehba during the season of cold.
Life is difficult at the camps in Shehba where thousands of people from Afrin and nearby regions have found a shelter. When we were walking inside one of these camps, we were unable to easily describe the harsh conditions there.
The future of these children is pretty unknown
At first glance there are hundreds of tents, as if they were not part of this world we are living in. In almost all of these tents, there are children from Afrin who have survived the genocide, now living in displacement.
Their hopes, joy, games, and schools were left unfulfilled after the attacks by the Turkish state and their mercenaries on January 20, 2018.
Children’s education at Berxwedan IDP camp
The principle of the school in Berxwedan camp, Dijwar Ibrahim spoke about the education in the camp and said: “Education of the children has not stopped at the camp. There are almost five hundred elementary students as well as hundreds of secondary and high school students in these camps. Along with Kurdish language, Arabic and English languages are also being taught.”
They hope they can return to Afrin
Ibrahim noted that there are achievements despite the grave condition in the camps. He highlighted the hopes of the students and said: “They hope that they can return to their homeland Afrin. They want to be heard and be able to study in their town.”
There are more than 1750 IDPs at the Berxwedan camp, almost 800 of them are children of ages between one and fifteen. The life in the tents is not easy, it is freezing cold and wet during winter, and extremely hot in summer time. These conditions have caused serious diseases in the camps.
The noted critical situation mostly affects the children, and that causes severe mental challenges to them. Despite all of that, these children seem to be keeping their morale up, they are angry at the Afrin occupiers and determined to live on their land.
And we are confident that these innocent smiles will break the chains of occupation and conflict imposed on Afrin.