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When families flee conflict, children miss out on schooling—teens may even need to work to help support parents and siblings. This has been the case for many Iraqis who fled to Syria some 13 years ago, as well as for Syrians displaced in their own country. To help young people complete their basic education, IOCC and Church partner the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East, Department of Ecumenical Relations and Development (GOPA-DERD), have organized courses prepping them for certification exams. This helps them make up for lost time and move closer to university studies. One of these youth is 14-year-old Salem,* who was in ninth grade when he and his family fled their home city and moved to rural Damascus. “In the coming school year,” he recently said, “I am determined to pass my ninth-grade exam. My father wants me to be an engineer or a doctor, and I want it too.… My father is not able to pay for private lessons or institutes, so I am happy because I had the opportunity to join this program.”

*Pseudonym used to protect his privacy