Dr. Helene D. GayleOctober 11, 2013 01:03
Commentary: A commitment to keeping girls in school is critical for development everywhere.
A Syrian girl who fled the violence in Syria sleeps with a doll at a shelter housing refugees in the Lebanese city of Arsal in the Bekaa Valley on March 26, 2012. (Joseph Eid/AFP/Getty Images)
ATLANTA — As I arrived in Jordan to meet with Syrian refugees, I knew I would hear gripping stories of families fleeing violence and destruction that would also reveal how Syria’s civil war has impacted girls. What I didn’t anticipate was the poignancy of one girl’s story. Her name is Hanan. My organization, CARE — an organization dedicated to fighting poverty — has been helping Hanan’s mother, a young widow who fled the violence in Syria and brought her five small children, including eight-year-old Hanan, to neighboring Jordan. Though safe from harm, Hanan still faces a bleak future. Her family was told that the local public school was full and could not accept more students.