Zachia, Abdullah and Younes

A family of three, shares its story with us – “we want to talk“.

Zachia and Abdullah are the parents of 7-year-old Younes and one more underage son, who already is in Sweden. They await the decision that will reunite the family; and the young Υounes looks forward to the moment he sees his beloved brother again.

However, Zachia and Abdullah are particularly reluctant and afraid. They have gone through many difficulties in order to arrive in Greece and furthermore until   eventually reaching the accommodation structure for refugees and migrants in Elefsina. The couple’s origin is from Afghanistan. From there they began their refugee trip in pursuit of a decent life. Iran was their first stop. Unfortunately, in Iran, things proved even harder.

I felt like we did not have a place to live there – being a refugee means being invisible. You are not recognized by anyone, people do not see you. We had no papers, home, security“, Zachia confesses. Zachia is just 35 years old, and the stories of her adult life sound like the stories of a much older woman. Now, she is happy with the fundamentals, as she says – grateful for being alive, she and her family after the hard trip from Iran to Turkey, then Samos. Zachia has no great expectations for the future, she only wants her family to reunite intact.

Until then, she awaits in agony – and perseveres. A Swedish proverb says, “Do not celebrate before you cross the stream (Man ska inte ropa hej, förrän man är över bäcken)“. This is Zachia’s motto. So, she awaits. On the other side of the stream her child waits for her.

Abdullah is more optimistic, he believes everything will be better for his family in Sweden, “I am 100% certain that everything will go well there“.

Still, life goes on in the accommodation structure of Elefsina, completely filled by their 7-year-old child, Younes. The youngest of the family participates in the activities SolidarityNow agents uphold through the Blue Dot Unit operating there. Through Junes, Zachia, although hesitant, dreams again and smiles at the end of our conversation, confessing:

I wish I could work in carpet-making again, I hope that my husband is employed, my children return to school and all of us live safely with dignity again“.

Little Younes is lucky to participate in the activities being held in the structure, that include English lessons and group games. These activities have supported him in becoming more social, sharing and able to express his feelings. Younes prepares to adapt as quickly as possible to the environment awaiting him in Sweden.

Next to his brother.

Zachia, Abdullah and Younes are beneficiaries of the Blue Dot program in Elefsina. The program in implemented by SolidarityNow, supported by Unicef and funded by the European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations/ECHO.

[Note: The program in Elefsina was concluded after the closure of the local camp, on October 2017]