The war in Syria is entering its eighth year – a humanitarian crisis that has seen an entire generation of children grow up knowing nothing but violent conflict. Children like Anas. This is the story of her journey to Lebanon – and her first steps towards a better future.

It is now seven years since the start of the civil war in Syria. Seven years of conflict. Seven years of suffering. Seven years of uncertainty for the 2.5 million children who have been forced to find safety in neighbouring states. Children like Anas.

They bombed our school

Ten-year-old Anas arrived in Lebanon just three months ago – having grown up amid the devastating effects of Syria’s war. On the outside Anas is like any other girl – she loves to draw and to play – but inside she frequently feels suffocated and unable to speak. “They bombed our school,” she recalls.

They bombed our neighbourhood and they bombed our house. They even took my face.

Anas lost her 11-year-old sister during the shelling. Her sister’s corpse is buried close to the family’s former home in Homs. Anas would like to return to Syria one day to be close to her sister – one day when the country is finally at peace.

Going Back to the Future

Today Anas attends basic literacy and numeracy (BLN) classes in Tripoli as part of the Back to the Future programme. She enjoys learning the alphabet and having a safe space to play with her new friends.

Anas is also regaining her belief in a better future. She wants to be a teacher when she is older – so she can teach children everything she is learning now. Anas has traveled some distance from the war in Syria – both physically and mentally. She says the seven years of war felt like a 100 years.

I feel so relieved now that we have left Syria and the war behind,” she says.

Back to the Future sees AVSI, Terre des Hommes and War Child – with the support of the EU Madad Fund – address the learning needs of children from both refugee and host communities in Lebanon and Jordan. The three-year coalition project brings learning opportunities to children who have been denied access to formal education. The first year of the project has seen 7,245 children enroll in education activities.