Belgian airport hosts Syrian children photo exhibition

A photo exhibition opened on Monday at the airport in Brussels to introduce an educational program that benefitted more than 356,000 refugee children in Turkey.

"Education Our Future" displays stories of six Syrian children who benefitted from the Conditional Cash Transfer for Education (CCTE) program which aims to encourage enrolment and improve school attendance of children.

The program is supported by institutions such the Turkish Red Crescent, the EU commission, Turkey's Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) and UNICEF.

The head of the Turkish Red Crescent, Kerem Kinik; European Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management, Christos Stylianides; UNICEF's Europe Director for Refugees, Afshan Khan; UNICEF Representative in Turkey, Philippe Duamelle; and Faruk Kaymakci, Turkey's ambassador to the EU; also attended the inauguration ceremony.

During the opening speech Kinik said that children are one of the most vulnerable groups in times of crisis.

"Therefore, it has become an essential responsibility for many national and international actors to carry out activities for affected children as a priority group," he said.

Kinik said that the CCTE program reached a total of 356,611 Syrian refugee children.

"I trust that this exhibition which takes place in Brussels airport, where thousands of people come through, will bring great opportunity to increase the awareness for the CCTE program implemented in Turkey and more importantly the future of refugee children which is our shared responsibility and future," he added.

Reminding that nearly half of the refugees hosted in Turkey are children, Christos Stylianides said that education is the fundamental right of children.

"I would like to thank UNICEF and the Turkish Red Crescent for our excellent cooperation," he said.

UNICEF's Europe director for refugees for her part said that "every child has the right to learn, including children who have been uprooted from their homes due to conflict".

"The program has reached more than 356,000 refugee children, thanks to strong partnerships with the Government of Turkey, the generous financial support of the European Union and other partners, as well as the continuous hard work of partners like the Turkish Red Crescent," Khan added.

Kaymakci said that around 970,000 Syrian refugee children are at school age, with 63 percent having access to education.

"I consider today's occasion as an opportunity to demonstrate our determination, as partners, to continue this program in a larger scale for the coming years," he said.

The 30-photograph exhibition will be displayed on 10 digital platforms at Brussels Airport until August 7.

Source: Anadolu Agency