Every child has the right to education - that's what Petra stands up for

With "Back on Track", Petra gives children from Syria access to education in Germany. She also navigates parents through the German school system. Preferably in face-to-face-meetings. Now digitally.

I was very frustrated by the events that took place in Syria. I felt particularly sorry for Children who are always the ones who can do least but suffer the most - especially if they lose the possibility to get an education. From the beginning, we wanted to help the children to make up for the gap in their education caused by the war. Some of them were not able to go to school at all and do well in the education system.

© GoVolunteer (Fotocredit: Sebastian Stöhr)

„My motivation is anger. I lived in Syria myself for many years until 2012. When I came back to Berlin, my children also had difficulties arriving in the German school system.“


I founded "Back On Track" in 2016 because I saw how many children from Syria had lost access to education. We quickly realized that we needed native-speaking teachers for our work as If you wait until the children know German, their frustration might evolve and make them lose the motivation. That is why we also train Arabic-speaking teachers.

I was motivated by anger. I lived in Syria for many years before moving in 2012. When I arrived in Berlin, my children also had difficulties in the German school system. Their Syrian school education was hardly recognized here, and that was very frustrating. I thought to myself: if it is this hard for me, a German mother who can speak German, knows the German administrative school system, and can fight her way through it, how can Syrian refugees cope with this?

Bild einer Frau, die sitzt und nutzt einen Rechner. Vor ihr liegt auf dem Tisch ein Ordner. © GoVolunteer (Fotocredit: Sebastian Stöhr)

Last year in March, like so many others, we were thrown into the deep end and suddenly had to change our teaching completely from face-to-face teaching to digital learning meetings, and that was, of course, a challenge. That's why we were a bit tense at first. But we are a group of motivated people, and we understood from the beginning how important it was to continue to function. If the children lost access to education for long period again, then they would be set back. Of the 150 children we worked with at the beginning of last year, 120 are still involved.

Even though the families adjusted to digital learning, the pandemic is still interfering with children's studying as often they have no one at home with whom they could go over the learning material again. They are already traumatized anyway, have concentration problems, and a lot of learning material to catch up on. However, we are making sure to help them cope during these uncertain times.

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Wo kommen die Bilder her?

The pictures, video and text of Petra are from the series "Volunteers of Berlin - Die Hauptstadtheld:Innen", text and photo courtesy of GoVolunteer. For more information, please visit:

Back on Track e.V.

“Back on Track” offers a tailor-made experience to children and adolescents who may not have had access to school for years because of war and escape. With an advised self-learning approach, they can compensate for gaps in education and catch up with their peers. Thus the foundation for a more successful and complete education and growth is laid.