Ten-year-old Maram* is one of 22 children living at her grandparents’ house in northwest Syria, where violent conflict has been a constant for nearly a decade. After Maram’s father died, her mother re-married and the family relocated to live with her grandparents and cousins.
As the oldest girl in the household, Maram is expected to take care of the housework and look after the younger children. These expectations combined with the family’s financial struggles and displacement, forced Maram to drop out of school, despite her desire to learn. The ongoing burden of being a caretaker and trauma of her experiences created a lot of fear and anxiety for Maram.
“I want to tell my friends and all other children that school is important and that they should continue their education, whatever the circumstances.”
In northwest Syria, CARE partners with the humanitarian organization Shafak, whose protection teams visited Maram’s grandparents to discuss the needs of girls like her, and the importance of supporting their rights, including the right to play and the right to education. As a result, Maram returned to school to continue her education. Being back at school helped alleviate some of Maram’s fear and anxiety but she’s still trying to balance responsibilities of school and home. She helps her siblings and cousins with their schoolwork and continues to take care of them with her grandmother.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, Maram has been unable to physically attend school year, but is trying to follow her lessons remotely via mobile phone and social media apps. Here, she shares her personal story and dreams of becoming a teacher.