In Syria risk education is a matter of life and death.
HALO has launched an appeal on BBC Radio 4 to raise vital funds so more children do not have to suffer like Fatima.
In Syria one of the most important lessons children can learn is how to stay safe in a war zone.
During a class run by HALO in Idlib province, in the north of the country, 11 year-old Fatima told her story.
It was winter last year and Fatima and her cousins were gathered round the family stove, listening to their grandmother tell fairytales. A few days earlier, Fatima’s uncle had brought home what he thought was a piece of scrap metal. As the stove heated up, the grenade exploded. The blast tore through the room, killing Fatima’s uncle, grandmother and her cousin. Fatima’s face was ripped apart, her left knee shattered.
Across Syria today, in places where the fighting has stopped a deadly legacy of landmines and bombs has been left behind, littering houses, fields and even schools. The Syrian people, who have already suffered and lost so much, are being maimed and killed every day. Many of them are children.
That’s why we need to teach Syrian children and adults how to avoid weapons the fighting has left behind and how to stay safe now. In less than two years HALO has reached more than 160,000 people in Syria with its risk education classes. Every child we teach is a child made safer.
Adnan, aged 12, (pictured holding the baby) was playing with his cousins during a family picnic when they discovered a stack of explosives among the olive trees. Thanks to HALO's risk education he knew exactly what to do, telling the younger children not to touch anything he immediately found his parents who were able to alert authorities to safely remove the dangerous items.
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