Michael Sheen, actor and UNICEF UK ambassador, has just returned from Jordan and Lebanon where he met with children who have been affected by the ongoing conflict.

Michael Sheen talking to 13-year-old Omaymah, who has been campaigning for girls' education.
Michael Sheen talking to 13-year-old Omaymah, who has been campaigning for girls' education.

An estimated 3.7 million Syrian children – that’s one in three – have been born since the conflict began five years ago, their lives shaped by violence, fear and displacement. This figure includes more than 151,000 children born as refugees since 2011.

Video: Unicef UK Ambassador Michael Sheen on 5 years of the Syria conflict

“It’s absolutely heartbreaking to think that millions of Syrian children have known nothing but war, death and destruction their entire lives,” said Michael. "As a father, meeting children and families who have fled Syria and just hearing their stories was incredibly moving, so I can’t begin to imagine the impact on the children themselves.

“I met children like Omaymah, who was forced to flee her home in Syria and now lives in a refugee camp in Jordan. Just 13 years old, Omaymah now tirelessly campaigns for girls’ education, and works with her friends to warn young girls in the camp of the dangers of child marriage.

“I was inspired by the courage, hope and optimism of Omaymah and the other children I met. It is children like Omaymah and her friends who are Syria’s future, and we must do all we can to help them rebuild their lives. Ensuring all Syrian children have access to the education and protection they so rightly deserve is the first step on this journey. That’s why protecting children and the schools that keep them safe must be a priority when the world responds to emergencies. It’s time for us to do all we can to give Syrian children the chance of a brighter future.”

Read more here.

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