Network of Guardians

06 January 2014

A group of ten girls between the ages of 16 and 20, decided to provide psychological support for the children of martyrs and detainees in the city of Darayya. In January 2012, the group underwent training workshops that specialize in specialist therapy for children.

As their reputation spread and the number of children increased, especially after the Darayya massacre of August 2012, several new girls joined in the effort. The escalating violence and daily bombardment of the city forced an end to an on-going psycho-therapy training in addition to numerous activities and campaign that the group had started. After leaving the city with many of its inhabitants, the girls decided to establish an organization called “Network of Guardians”. Their efforts were mainly supported by the “Syrian Nonviolence Movement”.

The team mainly operates in areas out of regime control in the countryside of Idlib, Aleppo, Eastern and Western Ghouta and Damascus. They address the issues of children from two main angles: legal and psychological. Legally, the network reports all violations committed against Syrian children to international children organizations. They also raise issues with relief or humanitarian campaigns that exploit children images for financial benefit.

A group of children in areas liberated from the regime. Source: Gurads Network Official Website.
A group of children in areas liberated from the regime. Source: Gurads Network Official Website.

Hanan, an activist from the group, gave Syria Untold an overview of their work: “In general, we deal with three types of children. The first group are children who only need to be provided with their basic rights of security and education. The second group comprises children who were traumatized by the war and need active psychological support. The third group is made up of a few, but very difficult cases, suffering from serious psychological problems, where they are assigned therapists individually."

The team has also worked to issue a specialist magazine for children, Kite Magazine, as part of their project of psychological and moral support. The biweekly magazine, which is published in cooperation with the Grapes of My Country group, takes interest in developing the educational capacity of children. In addition, the Network has cooperated with other activists to establish “Learning Points” in liberated areas, where children are invited to continue their education. The Network of Guardians visit these learning point regularly to offer support and training to the activists, as well as provide them with the needed equipment. Moreover, the team has conducted training workshops to help mothers in dealing with their children in cases of emergencies, to take the necessary measures.


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Illustation by Dima Nechawi Graphic Design by Hesham Asaad