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The child breadwinners of Bekaa

In a side road in a small town in the Bekaa Valley, Majid and Yazan are hard at work. They are brothers aged nine and 11. Their day started in darkness, getting up at 4am, a bit scared to be going out before dawn, to get to their jobs in a local bakery.

The tiny bakery turns out flatbreads for local restaurants. The boys work alongside two grown men, also refugees. The boys get $3 a day between them. But these meagre earnings are vital for their family to survive after fleeing the war in Syria.

Both brothers work alongside two grown men who are also refugees in Bekaa Valley.

Covered in flour and dust, the brothers clean the industrial mixing bowl, sweep the floors, and pile the flatbreads neatly when they come off the hotplate. They do this sometimes until 10 o'clock at night.

When the school bus goes past, carrying some refugees fortunate to be able to go to a local school, the boys stare out in sadness. 'All we want is to go with them' one of them tells us. 'I want to go to school, so someday I can become a teacher.' His brother wants to be an engineer. When they remember their life in Syria, tears come to their eyes.

The local school bus picking up some refugee children who are fortunate enough to attend school

I have two sons, one just a little older than Majid - but living a life a world away. It is heartbreaking to see that this is the reality of the lives of the children of the Syrian war. They've escaped the immediate danger of conflict - but their childhoods are slipping away in its wake.

It's children like these CAFOD and partners CARITAS Lebanon are desperately trying to support. Having met Majid and Yazan, they're now trying to work out how they can help the family and find a way to get the boys some schooling.

It can be done. Lebanon has opened some of its schools for a 'second shift' to accommodate the hundreds of refugee children in the area. The Lebanese children use the school buildings in the afternoons - the Syrian children have to go very early in the morning - packing out the classrooms to capacity. CAFOD is helping the refugee children access these places, supporting their families with the costs of clothing and equipment, and transport to get there.

This school used to teach 60 Lebanese children but now accommodates. hundreds of refugee children.

It's a massive logistical challenge. Many of the refugee families are in makeshift camps, or staying in poor quality rented accommodation and sometimes hard to reach. But CAFOD knows that after the basics of life support, the most vital thing the children of Syria need is to get some schooling. Whenever the terrible war ends, an education - even at a basic level - will give them options.

When the war in Syria began - there were dire warnings of a lost generation of its children. As the conflict grinds on into its eighth year - and the world is distracted by other disasters - the needs of that generation grow ever more desperate.

CAFOD is helping as many as they can to reclaim some of those childhoods and their right to an education.

It's simply what every parent would want. And for Majid and Yazan, who long to return to their homes one day - it could make the world of difference.

When the war in Syria began - there were dire warnings of a lost generation of its children