They have witnessed atrocities and speak with a maturity beyond their years. They can tell you what semi-automatic weapons they have seen used, and even how to assemble them. They know how many bullets killed their loved ones and what buildings in their home cities explosives destroyed. Their bodies are lined with scars and tell the story of a life grown in conflict.
They are known as Syria’s “Lost Generation.”
Who are they?
They are the 4.5 million children who have been displaced by the Syrian civil war and are currently at risk of losing their futures because education, homes and family have been taken from them in the wake of war.
They have sacrificed education to work and support their displaced families. Many children work over 12 hours each day, serving in restaurants or collecting trash to recycle for money. As the number of displaced children grows each year, the challenge to keep each child in school grows exponentially.
With each passing year, more children struggle to recall educational basics such as reading and writing. By the time they reach a refugee camp where education might be available, they must rebuild an educational foundation.
Children are vital conduits for the future of peace in Syria. Without them, the country faces a grim future as it strives to rebuild its cities and economy.
But there is hope for the Lost Generation.
At Hillsong Conference Europe 2013 a call to action was issued, inviting churches across Europe to join a collaborative movement in response to the crisis in Syria. We are the hands and feet of Christ and are called to advocate the cause of the afflicted.
Through the Syria Church Response, and working closely with UNICEF, we want the church to gain the reputation for being resilient and unrelenting in the face of injustice.
When a crisis like this arises, we must exhibit unity and help children who have faded from the conscience of the world. God loves them and He has a purpose for their lives, that is why we love them and enable them pursue that purpose.
As individual churches, we cannot make much of a difference on our own, but if each of us contributes what we can, pretty soon resources begin to pile up. Together we can make a significant impact among the Syrian refugees. We can take the responsibility of ensuring that there will be No Lost Generation!
On this site you will find stories and resources to get your church involved in the Syria Church Response.
Please feel free to share with us how you or your church is contributing. We want to hear from you and inspire others by sharing your story!