|Parents of these unfortunate children were massacred in the village شلوح Talkalkh Brive in Homs. Immediate assistance urgently needed. For help visit the websites of UNICEF, the UNHCR and Mercy Corps|
Last month classrooms across Syria should have been filled with the excited commotion of children beginning a new school term.
Instead the children of Syria, caught up in the largest humanitarian crisis in history, are paying the price of this conflict with their health, their education and their lives.
UNICEF, the world's leading children's organisation, is in Syria and neighbouring countries ensuring that children receive basic services like clean water, nutritious food, education and health care. UNICEF is also providing counselling for children who have witnessed acts of violence no child should ever see.
Thanks to voluntary donations, including the generous support of people in Ireland, UNICEF is getting the children of Syria ready for the freezing temperatures of winter with a region-wide distribution of blankets, winter jackets, shoes and vaccinations to protect against disease. But the need is growing and resources are running out.
Life for a child under siege in Syria, or in a refugee camp like Za'atari where 10 babies are born every day, is not the kind of life any of us would wish for our children.
These children, like all children, deserve to live with dignity and hope for a future where they can fulfil their potential.
If we do not protect them now, we will lose a generation of doctors, engineers and political leaders who will one day rebuild Syria.