When Bothayana first arrived from Syria, she did not go to school. In Lebanon lessons were in English or French which she could not speak. Bothayana missed years of schooling—something she found very distressing. A few years ago, she was excited to find the Sidon Centre run by the Department of Service to Palestinian Refugees (DSPR) Lebanon taught in Arabic and followed the Syrian syllabus. Now 24, she is sitting her final exams in Syria along with 239 other students. She is talented and keen to make a name for herself as an artist.
For the last six years DSPR Lebanon has taken groups of refugee students back to Damascus for the few weeks it takes to sit the Baccalaureate and Brevet exams. DSPR organises the trip ensuring visas, accommodation, and their safe return. It is the only opportunity Syrian refugees have to get these qualifications, vital for their future.
This story comes from the Refugee Sunday 2019 resources, provided by Christian World Service (CWS). CWS partners with the Department of Service to Palestinian Refugees (DSPR), which works on the ground with refugees in the Middle East.