Little Heroes

The people and communities of Syria have been shattered by years of sectarian violence. Many elements of the country’s infrastructure have been destroyed, and relations between faiths have been poisoned by the religious nature of much of the violence. Many have left their homes, never to return. 

For those who remain, what future can they hope for? 

Thousands of Christian children have been taken by their families away from their homes and from everything they knew to a few, relatively ‘safe’ areas. These children are trying to make a new life in their new homes. But they are scared, they have lost hope and they see no future for themselves.

These children need our help. So far, we have helped over 2,200 of Syria's children!

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Little Heroes is a mentoring programme for displaced and disadvantaged children, aged 6 to 12, in Syria.

It is for children of every denomination, and children of other faiths are always welcome. We work on building their well-being, self-esteem, resilience, and emotional health. The aims are:

  • Give them back some of their lost childhood;

  • Plant the seeds of love, trust and hope in them;

  • Help them to build bridges within their community; and

  • Empower them  to overcome the great troubles they have faced.

The events offer the children a chance for them to discover their talents through arts & crafts, drama, music and sport.​ And our mentoring programme guarantees the most disadvantaged children a year-long individual mentoring programme, with each participating child receiving at least one hour a week of personal attention and support.

Little Heroes is unique. To our knowledge, no-one is offering a similar programme in Syria. 

How does Little Heroes work?

Please click on the images to see them full size.

We choose the topics of each Little Heroes programme according to the needs of the children. In addition to basic essentials such as ‘Love and Tolerance’, and ‘Rejecting hatred and fear’, we address the concerns of the clergy and the families. 

For instance, we learned that some of the children were terrified of God the Father because ‘Allah’, which is the name that all Arabic-speaking people call God, had developed a terrifying connotation due to the misuse of the phrase “Allahu Akbar!“ by jihadis. We worked to teach the children that God is Love and that they had nothing to fear from Him.

The educational methods have been chosen by our educators, including counsellors, to offer the children a wide range of stimulating and thought-provoking styles of both play and learning. For instance, art and handicraft activities give the children opportunities for self-expression; the sports, games and ‘adventure’ activities are designed to develop teamwork and allow the children a safe space within which to explore victory and defeat as well as practice sharing in the victories of others and commiserating with those who did not win; and gardening involves planting seeds - an allegorical lesson in growth and nurturing.

Making an Impact

Much of the real impact of our work takes place after an event, when the children share their experiences with their families, and they talk to their classmates and others in their community. The Little Heroes, feeling valued and inspired once more, have the courage to make new friends and grow to become little peacemakers. In this way, they build new bridges of respect and understanding with children of other faiths that they meet in their community. This encourages an attitude of reconciliation and a rebuilding of trust between the faiths. 

Little Heroes, while Christian, is open to all. All local denominations take part; sadly, ecumenical activities are very rare in the Middle East due to a deep-seated mistrust between Christian denominations. However, even local Bishops have chosen to take part in Little Heroes to support the children. 

In addition, every year, Muslim families send their children to Little Heroes. These children take full part in the activities and also receive counselling and support. The parents trust the Awareness Foundation, and they recognise that Little Heroes offers their children both a disciplined environment and a rare opportunity to interact with their Christian peers.

Without Little Heroes, the children receive no counselling and very little spiritual nourishment. Sunday Schools in Syria are vastly oversubscribed due to internal displacement, and mass emigration means that most Sunday School teachers have left. In this case, the children will remain traumatised and separated from God, and their possible positive impact on community harmony will be lost.

The programme is led by experienced educators, with the support of our local coordinator and her team of 30 locally-trained volunteers.  Our programme is tailor-made by Syrians for the children of Syria. 

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January 6, 2020

We organised a painting workshop for some of our Little Heroes in Lattakia, Syria, led by Nizar Sabour, one of the best artists in Syria and the Near East. The Revd Nadim Nassar said, "It was an amazing activity for a group of wonderful children. We shall lead another...

December 24, 2019

Nadim, Huda, Elza and many of our Ambassadors for Peace are celebrating Christmas with the Little Heroes in Syria today!

More than 225 Syrian children, who are participating in our Little Heroes mentoring programme, have come together on Christmas Eve* to celebrate the...

August 2, 2019

The theme of our latest LITTLE HEROES programme, which is currently under way in Lattakia, Syria, is "The Fisherman and the Sea".

Over 12 months, we work on building the children's well-being, self-esteem, resilience, and emotional health. The aims are:

  • Give the chi...

September 28, 2018

Please click here to read our new blog based on the experiences of some of our Little Heroes.

September 7, 2018

Little Heroes returned to Lattakia, Syria, from 9th to 11th August. We are proud to say that 150 children took part, supported by 30 volunteer leaders.

The theme of our programme was "The Children of the King". Over the three days, we taught the children:

  • Who is the...

September 14, 2017

After Awareness Foundation Little Heroes in Lattakia, our team of volunteers travelled 75 miles south to Safita at the invitation of our dear friend and International Consultant, Bishop Demetrios Charbak, the Greek Orthodox Bishop of Banias. 

This was our second year i...

September 1, 2017

In early August 2017, our team of volunteers welcomed around 200 displaced and local Syrian children to our Little Heroes camp. Once again, we were hosted by the National Evangelical Church in Lattakia.

The theme of the three days was “the Story of the Field”. A field...

July 21, 2016

We welcomed more than 160 displaced children to our second Little Heroes programme in Lattakia, on the Mediterranean coast of Syria. Thank God for our Ambassadors for Peace who had helped me to plan and organise the event, and who gave up their time to help lead the pr...

July 21, 2016

We are working with over 350 displaced Syrian children in Safita, near the border with Lebanon. The themes for our first two days were "A Little Hero is the hero who prays", and "A Little Hero is the hero who is obedient" and today, our final day, our theme is "Little...

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The Awareness Foundation is a Registered Charity in England & Wales (No. 1099873)

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