At 14 years old, Maya* has already been displaced four times because of the war in Syria. When she was 11, her family was forced to flee their home in Homs for northwest Syria after her the city came under siege. She survived the bombing that destroyed her neighborhood but was forced to leave school for a year. The violent and unpredictable circumstances caused her immense psychological distress and constant fear. When she was able to attend school intermittently during periods of relative calm, she refused to participate in activities and avoided socializing with her classmates. She became increasingly isolated and unable to cope with her fears.
Her mother enrolled her in a psychosocial support center run by CARE’s partner IYD in the northern countryside of Aleppo, where the family had recently settled. Maya began to improve, and eventually returned to school. Now in ninth grade, Maya is a top student in her class. Here she shares her personal story and advice for other girls living through difficult circumstances.