The city of Aleppo has been caught in the volatile centre of the Syrian conflict. Every day Aleppo’s children learn to recognise the sound of bombs exploding around them.

“I go to school every day except for the times when I hear the planes,” Judy explains to us.

Just as the nine-year-old tells us her fears, we hear a bomb.

Since the crisis began in 2011, schools have been attacked over 4,000 times.

Judy’s school has been shaken by bombings several times. Houses around the school were damaged, some reduced to rubble, and yet every morning Judy would walk to school with her friends amid the wreckage.

Over 2 million children remain out of school in Aleppo and another 400,000 are at risk of withdrawing as escalated fighting transforms schools and playgrounds into possible bombing targets.
Life in Aleppo can be filled with dangers, but children still try to attend school. ©UNICEF/2016/Syria/Aleppo/Zayat

“I wish the roads would open soon so I can go see my brother who lives in another city and who just got married. I haven’t even met his wife yet,” Judy tells us. Electricity has been unavailable in much of Aleppo due to fuel shortages. “I wish we would get electricity back so I could watch cartoons on TV.”
Judy, 9, on her way back home from school in eastern Aleppo city, Syria’s most populous city. ©UNICEF/2016/Syria/Aleppo/Zayat

“My older sister helps me study. I love this topic so much,” Judy says, telling us about her favourite subject, English. She makes her way to school to study with the looming threat of bombs hanging oppressively in the air.
Children walking by the rubble in Aleppo on their way back from school. ©UNICEF/2016/Syria/Aleppo/Zayat

Heavy bombardment and shelling, displacement and economic challenges have now cost many children across Syria the freedom to attend school. But UNICEF is helping with a massive emergency response. In 2016, teams have have repaired damaged schools, provided prefabricated classrooms and distributed learning supplies and textbooks so 2.9 million students could keep learning - even under siege.

As UNICEF works tirelessly to ensure all children have access to safe environments and education, we depend entirely on generous donations.

This christmas, give the gift of education

UNICEF Australia’s Inspired Gifts are real, life-changing gifts delivered directly to children who need them most.

Simply choose the gift you wish to donate on a loved-one’s behalf, personalise a card to show them their incredible impact and your gift will be sent to children in need around the world.

For $42 you can put 1,00 pencils in the hands of eager young students with no other options to write and learn.

This Christmas give a meaningful gift that changes lives and warms a heart.