“It made me happy to go to school to meet friends and learn things that I never knew," says seven-year-old Aya Kassem. Aya had her leg amputated two years ago after a mortar exploded nearby as she was walking home from kindergarten in Jaramana, Damascus. She underwent a number of operations and has had to learn to walk again with an artificial leg provided by UNRWA.
Despite the physical trauma she has endured, Aya is excited to return to the UNRWA al-Qdairiyeh School in Jaramana camp this September and work towards realizing her dreams. She is one of thousands of Palestine refugee children in Syria who are coping with enduring physical and emotional trauma as a result of the protracted crisis. Education is a critical source of normalcy and stability for children faced with prolonged displacement and hardship, and allows them to hope for a brighter future.