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18 Giugno Giu 2021 0957 18 giugno 2021

#FleetingDetails: drawings of the little things that make refugee children feel at home

For World Refugee Day this year, we asked refugee children in the countries where we work to draw something representing the many little things that can make them feel at home, even in a refugee camp.

ECW CBECE Amani Al Moussa Landscape

While fleeing, you lose so many things.

Everyday the refugees we support tell us about it, as they run away from the war, from hunger, from climate change, from political instability.

Sometimes, though, a little detail can bring back a piece of everyday life, that seemed to be lost forever. Everyday, children teach us so: even in a refugee camp they can find a way to feel at home, as the drawings that we gathered for the World Refugee Day, celebrated every year on 20th June.

Adayrelys, 12 years old, comes from Venezuela and when she thinks about her life there, the first memory that comes to mind is the sea that she could see from her window.

Due to the current Venezuelan crisis, she lives with her parents in a reception center in Roraima, Brazil. AVSI Brasil manages the shelters as part of the project Gestão de abrigos, funded by the UNHCR. Adayrelys already knows what she will do once she leaves the reception center: explore the Brazilian beaches.

Watching his favorite cartoon together with his new friends: that’s what makes Marco, 5 years old, feel at home.

He and his family had to leave Honduras for a safer, less violent place and their journey brought them to Mexico. Marco is one of the “baby migrants” supported by the project Inclusión Digna (Dignified Inclusion), financed by the European Union and by our Tents campaign in Italy, carried out by AVSI Mexico with FM4 Paso Libre (Dignidad y Justicia en el camino A.C.) and El Refugio Casa Del Migrante.

Zahra received a creative kit distributed by AVSI Middle East and the local NGO Sawa for Development and Aid as part of the initiative Connecting to learn, funded by Education Cannot Wait. The project aims at increasing access to learning and support Syrian refugee and vulnerable Lebanese children impacted by COVID-19.

Inside the kit she found crayons and pictures to color. With her mother, she chose this one: “Mom, I want this one because it’s my cousins and me when we play here at home”. For her, home is the refugee camp Al Salam in Barr Elias, where her parents have been living since they fled Syria for Lebanon in 2013.

During the pandemic, as schools are closed, Merci, 14 years old, spends a lot of time with her parents: she watches as her father sell shoes at the market and helps her mum with chores at home. These little moments have made her feel closer to her parents, and closer to home.

Merci lives with her parents and eight siblings in the Rwamwanja Refugee Settlement in Uganda. They have been living here for eight years after fleeing from the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 2013. Her family is one of the 13,200 economically active but extremely poor refugee and host community households supported in their journey towards self-reliance by the Graduating to Resilience project funded by USAID and implemented by AVSI Uganda in cooperation with Trickle Up and Impaq International.

When Roynnix, 12 years old, thinks about Venezuela, he immediately thinks of the park where he used to go with his cousins and his uncle. They had so much fun playing together.

Due to the difficult situation in the country, Roynnix and his parents had to move to Ecuador two years ago. Now they live in a multi-family home in Manta, thanks to the project Activados, funded by the UNHCR and implemented by AVSI Ecuador, that fosters local integration, peaceful coexistence and supports Venezuelan refugees and migrants in Ecuador.

Hanin, 8 years old, looks forward to seeing her father and brother come back home from work in the evening, so they can have dinner all together. This is the moment when she feels the most at home, even though home for her is a tent in the Marj El Khokh refugee camp in Lebanon.

Thanks to the Italian family that supports her, she can study and find elements of an "ordinary life" in little things. Then, one day, she will hopefully have the chance to explore her real home: Syria.

Matim Gony feels at home among his friends, on the soccer field in the Ifo refugee camp, while he dribbles everyone like Cristiano Ronaldo. It's easy to guess: soccer is Matim's favorite sport.

He is 14 years old and lives in Dadaab, in Kenya, where AVSI Kenya implements the Transitional support project. Funded by the US Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM), it aims at fostering integration and quality education in the refugee and host community.

For Lamar, 12 years old, home is being with her family. Sadly, they don’t get together often, only over the weekends. Her parents came to Jordan in 2007, fleeing the Syrian war. Lamar was born here in 2010.

They live in the host community of Aqaba and have been supported by AVSI Middle East through the SAFE II project. Financed by AICS (Italian Agency for Development Cooperation), it ensures protection and help to families at risk among refugees and local communities in Aqaba and Amman.