Hard to believe but true! There is a school bus – and not just one – in the Idlib Governorate, one of the last Syrian territories that has not yet been re-taken by government troops. This is a part of northeastern Syria where, according to UNICEF, more than 185,000 people have basically no access to medical aid in the winter of 2019 and where almost every day children continue to die. An area to which all different kinds of opposition fighters have retreated. Should the government finally attack Idlib, the consequences for the population and the civilian refugees in the region would be horrific.
A local teachers’ initiative, supported by the aid organization “Syria Relief”, founded in the UK in 2011, is at least trying to provide a touch of normality. The teachers visit the local villages in their rolling classrooms, since most schools have been destroyed or are too dangerous to get to, in order to bring some happiness to the remaining children. Of the 55 schools built by “Syria Relief”, four alone were destroyed by air strikes. The initiative aims to reach about 1,000 children between five and twelve with its colorful learning and entertainment offer.
Curriculum Vitae: Anas Alkharboutli, Syria (dpa)
Anas Alkharboutli, born in 1992, studied Engineering at Damascus University before he began his career as a photojournalist in 2015. He is a permanent witness and chronicler of the war and the resulting humanitarian disaster. Since Alkharboutli regularly works for the German news agency “Deutsche Presse Agentur (dpa)”, many of his images can be seen in German news media coverage.