With the early hours of dawn, Syrian child Akram al-Akram sets out from his tent in Idlib, northwestern Syria, to work in harvesting crops, with his fellow workers who receive a daily wage with the advent of the harvest season in this war-torn region.
Akram, 15, is the sole breadwinner for his family of 5 after his father became bedridden due to a spinal pain known as disc disease. This child became responsible for securing the daily expenses of the displaced family residing in a worn out tent in Idlib countryside. Read also Innocently and spontaneously.. Video: Children of refugee camps in Lebanon wish for Eid gifts Children of Syria… Suffering from destitution and deprivation of education Syrian child arithmetic and languages teacher for displaced children in Idlib Between shelling and burning and cold tents… Children’s tragedies in northern Syria
Akram tells Al Jazeera Net that the teacher – as he is nicknamed in the place of the harvest – river more than once after watching him sit for a break and strongly caution him for his sitting, describing what is happening to him as the great injustice that falls on him in this tiring profession.
This child does not reach his tent until after his strength is exhausted and all he dreams of is going to bed in the tent’s land, before eating some food provided by the relief organizations that roam the camps.
Thus, Akram spends his days between work and tent since he came to al-Tah camp in Idlib countryside with his family after the Syrian regime warplanes bombed their town. He recalls the days he spent in his school, which he left without return since he was in the fourth grade of primary school.
In Al-Tah camp, he shares with Akram dozens of children who struggle with life early, as these are the breadwinners for their poor families who lost everything they owned in the war and displacement.
Abdel Salam Youssef, the camp manager, confirmed that more than 50 children work in various professions, such as harvesting and collecting cartons and plastic cans from the garbage dumps that surround the camps, and most of the children in the camp do not receive an education.
Al-Youssef indicated – in an interview with Al-Jazeera Net – that he appealed dozens of times to civil society organizations to look into the fate of children and return them to education and schools, but no one listened to his repeated complaints to save a generation of lost childhood in the labor market.
Al-Youssef renews his complaint and appeals to intervene quickly to support poor families whose children have become responsible for securing daily income through hard work.
Akram appears to be one of more than 2.4 million Syrian children who are out of school, of whom approximately 40% are girls, according to UNICEF reports, and the number is likely to have increased during the past 2020, as a result of the impact of the “Covid-19” pandemic that led Exacerbating the disruption to education in Syria
The organization says that 6.1 million Syrian children need assistance, an increase of 20% from last year alone, adding that increasing poverty, lack of fuel and high food prices are forcing children to leave school and go to work.