Gozitan schoolchildren helping Syrian children attend school
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Gozitan schoolchildren have been helping Syrian children attend school. Hundreds of children from 8 schools in Gozo, have been taking part in a fundraising campaign to help some of the most deprived children in Syria get an education.
24 schools – 8 schools from Gozo, 9 church schools, 5 state schools and 5 private schools in Malta – took part in this initiative which was organised by Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) Malta.
Moved by the plight of children in Syria whose education was disrupted because of the war, which is now in its eighth year, hundreds of Gozitan children are doing what they can to help.
The destruction of hundreds of schools in many Syrian towns has forced the regrouping of pupils in remaining schools, so classes intended for 28 pupils now often house 50-60 children of mixed abilities.
The ACN said that overcrowded classrooms and lack of resources have taken their toll on Syrian children’s education. Many of them are far below the normal level of achievement for their age.
“They had to miss months or even years of schooling because it was far too dangerous to leave their homes.,” the ACN said. “As a result, they have fallen behind and are finding it difficult to cope with lessons.”
Many schoolchildren in Gozo and Malta, since the beginning of Lent, have chosen to give up sweets and other treats and instead donate the money to help Syrian children.
ACN said that together, these small donations from pocket money have raised over €8000 that will go towards education projects in Syria for children who have been worst affected by the war.
Enough money has already been raised to fund 195 scholarships for children from the poorest families whose parents could not otherwise afford to send them to school, the ACN said.
ACN Malta’s fundraising campaign is also providing 20 weeks of individual homeschooling for a number of children in parts of Damascus that were worst affected by recent bombing.
ACN Malta thanked all the children who took part, as well as the Heads of School, teachers, administrators and parents who have worked so hard to promote the campaign and organise the collection of donations for Syrian children in their schools.
“A special thanks is also due to Fr Effie Masini (Gozo Bishop’s delegate), Fr Reuben Gauci (responsible for spiritual development in State and Church schools), Mr Joe Farrugia (the Archbishop’s delegate for the laity) and Mr Lawrence Aquilina,” ACN Malta said.
The conclusion of this major fund-raising initiative to help Syrian schoolchildren coincides with ACN Malta’s celebration of the 4th anniversary since the Malta office was opened in May 2014.
Photograph: ACN Malta – Syrian schoolchildren