With war comes trauma and everlasting scars of a dark and terrifying past. Today, most Syrian refugee children know nothing more than the terror and anxiety of not knowing where the next air strike, missile, gun shot, bomb or chemical attack will hit next. Even after fleeing the country, a petrifying fear follows these Syrian refugee children wherever they go.

At Heart for Lebanon’s H.O.P.E. Educational Program, we provide a safe place for refugee children to learn, express and grow. Maha, an 8-year-old girl who fled the Syrian war with her mother and elderly grandparents, is just one of the many Syrian refugee children suffering from mental and emotional scarring caused by the events of the Syrian war.

Since fleeing to Lebanon, Maha has been attending our H.O.P.E. Educational Program where she learned how to read and write for the very first time. “When Maha was born we were fleeing from place to place so my daughter couldn’t go to school and didn’t even know what a book was,” said Khadijah, Maha’s mother.

Both Khadija and her daughter suffered great emotional and physical distress during their time in Syria. In the midst of the Syrian conflict Khadijah’s husband abused and threatened her and their daughter. “Maha has psychological and emotional scarring because of the war and also because her biological father abused her and abused me,” said Khadijah.

Today, both mother and daughter have found a safe haven in our Heart for Lebanon staff who listen, advise, care and love on them unconditionally. Thanks to Heart for Lebanon’s support and encouragement Khadijah and her daughter are willingly listening to the Word of God and praying with our staff. Khadijah has also dedicated her life to Jesus and asks that we pray for her daughter’s full recovery.