Dreams of study and a future
Jehad said it will take him only a year to study German and then he can study to become an architect. Squinting his eyes in the blinding sun, he found his mobile’s screen had gone blank. There was no place to charge his phone. At least, he was able to rest in the shade, drink and eat some bread. The younger children played with toys, engaged in singing and drawing activities. Others received some medical help from the Red Cross. The most common complaints were dehydration, blisters, colds, diarrhoea and sunburn. The Reception Centre near Gevgelija will soon be equipped with two bigger Unicef-supported tents with an enclosed, quiet space for breastfeeding mothers, water bladders, washing facilities and more toilets.
I am in awe of children like Jehad and Noor. Of their tenacity, resilience and desire to learn. As a Unicef Communication Specialist, I have talked to many youth leaders and experts on how kids are expressing themselves online through social media channels and increasingly on mobile. Even more than ever, I am acutely aware of how much a mobile phone can be a lifeline for children on the move in addition to their need of protection, healthcare, food, education, shelter and emotional support.
This week, Jehad and I are still in contact via Whatsapp.
“I have been in Hungary for three days now,” he said. “I am sleeping on the floor but it’s too noisy at the train station. A man is giving us a place to charge our phones. Everyone says it’s impossible to pass through to Germany. But I still have hope.”
You can help us provide safe spaces and education for children like Jehad and Noor, who’ve been forced to flee their homes and are on the move across Europe.
Lely Djuhari is a Unicef Communications Specialist