In just a few weeks the world will mark a black day: the fifth anniversary of the outbreak of Syria’s brutal conflict.
Over the past five years, thousands of people have lost their lives, millions have been forced from their homes and children have watched their futures disappear before their eyes.
A staggering 2.8 million of them have not been able to go to school.
But perhaps finally, after suffering for so long, they now have reason to hope.
In London yesterday, some 70 world leaders, including Prime Minister David Cameron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and US Secretary of State John Kerry, held a conference to decide how best to help the people of Syria.
By the end of the day they had made some significant commitments.
Back in school and learning
In the build up to the summit, we urged the attending leaders to take serious steps and pledge the money needed to get Syria’s children back in to school and learning.
We also demanded action to protect children, teachers and schools from violence.
We kept up the pressure with a stunt before the conference that portrayed a ruined Syrian school.
Largest amount ever raised
The summit itself got going early on Thursday morning and we watched it closely throughout the day for signs of progress.
Information began trickling through and we were able to begin to see what was – and wasn’t – achieved.
First the good news. More than $10bn was pledged to help Syrians affected by the conflict – the largest amount of money ever raised in a single day in response to a humanitarian crisis.
There were also ground-breaking commitments on refugee children’s education.
Countries, most significantly Lebanon, Turkey and Jordan, who host the majority of Syrian refugees, pledged to ensure one million Syrian children not in school would have access to education by the end of the next school year.
If these countries back up their statements with effective action, it could change the future of a whole generation of Syrian children.
Could do better
However while many leaders made clear statements calling for an end to attacks on children, schools and teachers, the commitments needed to make this a reality were not made.
Now the challenge is to ensure that the promises that were made in London are kept, and that Syria’s children can get back to school and start learning again.