The crisis in Syria has been an incredibly heartbreaking one. The country has been in the midst of a civil war and the ones that have been suffering the most is the regular people. When one woman saw a Syrian girl lying in a pile of garbage, she quickly took a video of the situation. However, she had no idea that her video would start a chain reaction that would become bigger than she ever imagined.
20. Reading A Book
As a passer-by walked past a pile of trash, the woman noticed that there was a little girl sitting in the pile and reading a book. The little girl’s name is Halime Cuma and she is a Syrian refugee. The passer-by decided to take a video of the girl studying in the pile of garbage, however, they had no idea what kind of reaction they would get.
19. Country Ravaged by War
The country of Syria has been involved in a civil war since 2011. Throughout the war the government and its many supporters have had to defend themselves against many enemies. Currently, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights estimates that as many as 522,000 people have died in the brutal war. There are also millions of people that have been displaced as a result.
Due to the intensity of the war, many families have chosen to flee the country. Around five-and-a-half million Syrians have left and have sought refuge in other countries. Many have fled to Turkey, which neighbors Syria.
Turkey has now become home to nearly three million Syrian refugees. Each day that number continues to increase as more and more people flee the country to seek refuge elsewhere. There are also many babies being born, despite the tragedy of the situation.
16. Living & Working
Also, very few of the refugees have to live in campsites. The number is as low as 1 in 14. In fact, many of the refugees live and work in Istanbul, the country’s largest city. Turkey has proven to be an incredible safe haven for many, many Syrians.
15. Helping Out
As the number of refugees increases, the Turkish government has gone out of their way to help out the Syrian people. Towns and cities have worked hard to create programs that aid integration and the government has helped out in educating the children.
14. One Refugee
One of the refugees currently living in Turkey happens to be Halime Cuma. Halime is the young girl that was spotted lying in a pile of trash with a book. But what was an 11-year-old girl doing in a pile of garbage during the day?
13. New Home
The Cuma family moved to Turkey back in 2017 after fleeing Syria. They headed to the multicultural neighborhood of Arnavutköy which is located in Istanbul. The district sits right on the western side of the city, alongside the Bosphorus natural strait. They soon settled in and started to make a life.
12. Working Girl
However, Halime is not an only child. Her father, Abdülrezzak, has six other kids that he has to take care of. In order to care for them, he collects waste paper around the city then recycles it. He is able to get all of his work done with his daughter’s help. Otherwise, they would not be able to survive.
11. Helping The Family
“I love my father, mother and siblings. [But] there is no other person except my father in our house who is working,” Halime explained. However, Halime is not the only refugee child that has to work to help out their family. Many other refugee children work for their families and for hours on end as well.
10. Battle Against Child Labor
The International Labor Organization has revealed that 1 in 3 children that works does not go to school. Turkey has become aware of this problem and the government has been working hard against it. The Turkish government has declared 2018 as the “year of the battle against child labor.”
9. Working Hard
Still, Halime has to work each day and she works very hard. That is why when she had a moment to herself she quickly curled up with a book in a pile of waste. She was so involved in her book that she barely noticed the people passing by.
8. Filming Her
Even though Halime is quite small and unnoticeable at first, passerby still managed to see her as they walked by. One of them was so distraught by the scene that they decided to snap photos and a video of her reading in the midst of the trash.
7. Video Footage
Although the video footage was really short, it showcased the young girl sitting in the trash, completely unbothered. Even though she was surrounded by trash on all sides she didn’t seem to mind at all. She was far too interested in her book.
6. Social Media
After filming the young girl reading, the bystander decided to upload the footage onto social media. However, they had no idea the sort of reaction that they would get from the people online. It seems that the video greatly impacted a lot of people’s emotions.
5. Crazy Viral
It seems that the video of Halime immediately went viral. The video spread all throughout the Turkish media and everyone wanted to know why such a young girl was reading in the trash. Finally, the Turkish government’s education department decided to take some action.
4. Getting In Touch
The Education Ministry immediately got in touch with Halime’s dad and offered to pay for her education. They also figured out that the reason she wasn’t currently enrolled in school was due to a clerical mistake. It seems that she had been marked as younger than she was and thus they thought she wasn’t old enough to attend school.
Zehra Zumrut Selçuk, Turkey’s Family Minister, said, “It will be ensured that children of school age will be enrolled.” Sure enough, Halime was brought into school and has since been going. There is even video footage of her enjoying leaning in class.
2. So Happy
So how does the young girl feel about being back in school again? “I am so happy I will be closer to books at school,” Halime told Demirören News Agency. However, she’s not the only one that’s happy about the situation.
1. Happy Father
“Halime started her new school today and I am over the moon. Now she will be able to progress in life. Next, I hope all our children will have access to public education,” Abdülrezzak shared.