By MELISSA WELLHAM
Today marks two years since the civil war in Syria started.
Over one million people have been displaced. And half of those refugees are children.
The boy in the picture on the left is Adnan. Fifteen days before this photo was taken, Adnan had fled the Syrian city of Hama with his family, when shelling destroyed his home. He suffered severe burns during the attack, and almost two weeks later still had not received medical treatment — because his family could not afford it.
After the attack, Adnan and his family began sharing a tent with another refugee family in Lebanon. His mother gave birth to a baby girl in this tent, and they live there still. The family’s food supply is incredibly limited – and in the mornings they sometimes drink tea for sustenance, instead of eating.
The civil war began in Syria in 2011 but for many people, media coverage of this conflict has become background noise.
And the media are starting to walk away from the story – it’s more of the same, it’s no longer ‘news’, and it has just been going on for so long.
The war started after a group of 15 school children were arrested – and imprisoned – for writing anti-government graffiti. Initially, citizens began with peaceful protests calling for the kids’ release – but then the government responded by opening fire on the protestors, killing four people.
Conflict between government and rebel forces in Syria has continued ever since and the UN now estimates that more than 70,000 people have died in the conflict.
The effect of this civil war on children has been particularly devastating.
There have been two million children in Syria affected by the conflict.
The UN estimates that now 1 million people have fled Syria, to Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq, Turkey and even as far away as Egypt – and of these refugees, around half are children. Most of them are younger than 11-years-old.