Syrian Refugee Children Draw What They Miss Most About Home

Wednesday 24 June 2015

Four years on, the Syria crisis has led four million people to flee their homes and seek refuge in neighboring countries in the region. Innocent children have been forced to leave their country and settle in new environments.

During a drawing activity in Lebanon, Syrian refugee children drew the four things that they miss the most about their home:



“Our home in Syria was huge, and we always had electricity and clean water” – Tareq, 8

Tareq misses playing football with his neighbors in the backyard of his house in Syria. He wants to live somewhere safe, where he can be warm during the winter and have access to water every day.

Tareq drew his two-story home and garden in Syria where he used to play football with his neighbors next to the apple tree. He now lives in a rented room with his 10 year old brother and mother where the electricity often cuts and clean water is scarce.

What is Save the Children doing about it?

A growing number of Syrian refugees are taking shelter in unfinished buildings in Lebanon. Many are little more than concrete skeletons which lack doors, windows, roofing, electricity or even the most basic sanitation fittings, and can actually be more exposed to the elements than informal settlements. To provide these families with security of tenure and ensure the rent is stabilized at a level they can afford, Save the Children has embarked on an innovative Cash Rehabilitation Scheme. Under the scheme, we provide Conditional Cash Transfers to support improvements and a repair scheme for families living in unfinished buildings. Each family receives a grant with an average value of $1,500 to carry out rehabilitation work on the building they are living in. This may include fitting doors, windows, insulation, the installation of electricity, basic plumbing, the installation of latrines and washing facilities, the removal of health and safety risks and weatherproofing. The scope of work is agreed between the landlord, the family and our Shelter Technician. The work is carried out by the family, with support from our shelter team. In exchange for the work and the consequent increase in value to their property, the landlord signs a MOU with the family and Save the Children agreeing to allow the family to remain in the premises for one year at a significantly reduced rent. For more information on our Shelter programmes visit the following link:


“I haven’t been to school since I arrived to Lebanon three years ago. It’s unfair." – Salma, 11

Salma misses going to school. She used to wake up in the morning and walk to school with her 14 year old sister. She would pick wild flowers on the way and give them to her English teacher. English and math were here favorite subjects and when she grows up she wants to become a teacher.

Salma drew her school in Syria where she used to play badminton with her friend Sara during sports class. She also drew her sports teacher Mr. Rami who kept on encouraging them. Today Salma spends her days helping her mom around the house. She forgot most of the English that she learned in school, but sometimes she watches Hollywood movies to help her remember the language.

What is Save the Children doing about it?

Save the Children is offering a three-level programme, at four months per level, for out-of-school Syrian children aged nine and above who have been out of school for at least two years. The programmes focus on the main objectives of the Lebanese Curriculum in maths and Arabic, with French as a foreign language, and are aimed at leading to their reintegration into the formal education system. Save the Children has implemented these programmes at dozens of sites in Bekaa, Akkar and Tripoli, reaching 11,000 children. For more information about our Education programmes, visit the following link:


“My mother used to make us a delicious pizza with pepperoni and cheese and corn and tomatoes, but now we don’t have an oven so she can’t cook it for us”-Mazen, 7

Mazen misses his mother’s home cooked meals that she used to prepare in their home in Syria. Even though she cooks other things in Lebanon, the meals that require an oven are missed. Mazen’s mother only prepares meals that can be cooked on the stove.

Mazen drew his mother’s famous pepperoni pizza and his favorite chocolate and strawberry cake that he hasn’t eaten since he fled Syria almost two years ago. He also drew a jar of honey that his grandfather used to make from their family’s honey-making business. Mazen also misses his cat ‘Moshmosh’ and his Mickey Mouse stuffed toy.

What is Save the Children doing about it?

Save the Children implements a highly innovative programme that empowers vulnerable women to open small businesses from home. The women receive 200$ a month while they undergo a three-month training course in small business management and entrepreneurship. The women are also taught how to source raw material, market their goods, find buyers, and negotiate a fair wage for their work. They are trained on a variety of different skills including food processing and baking products and delicacies. Save the children also distributes the equipment these women need in order to start their businesses, For more information about our Food Security and Livelihoods programmes, visit the following link: