Kamran and Hamid in the radio and photo days’ seminar

Giorgos Moutafis for SolidarityNow

Kamran from Pakistan is one of the 60 SolidarityNow beneficiaries who took part in the photography and radio trainings organized and completed by the organization under the program entitled “The Resilient Roots Initiative”.

Radio, podcasts and photography, are powerful tools of modern media. Words and images, if they are used properly, they can express feelings, ideas, opinions and a constructive criticism. SolidarityNow chose this innovative way to train and enable its beneficiaries to jury the organization itself in order to help its evolution towards a more effective operation mode and a more efficient programs’ orientation upon their real needs.

I like it very much. Anything new I do I like it”, says Kamran during the break of the photography training implemented in Athens by the photojournalist, Giorgos Moutafis. The 19-year-old Kamran and his classmates are all beneficiaries of the organization’s accommodation program and live together at the organization’s Youth Hostel in downtown Athens. He arrived at Greece from Pakistan 2.5 years ago, in order to chase his dream of studying computers. He was recognized as an unaccompanied minor and as soon as he turned 18, he was transferred to the Shelter, which is exclusively for men aged 18-24.

When we asked Kamran why he decided to participate in the seminar, since he already has a very busy schedule with school and Greek and English lessons, he responded: “I always want to learn something new. Whatever I learn, I think will be useful“. Kamran actively participated in the lessons, according to the photography and radio training instructors, Giorgos Moutafis and Katerina Kafentzi, who has held the radio trainings in Athens.

Kamran was excited when he visited a real radio studio where the instructor held the radio trainings aimed at producing radio podcasts. Through this experience Kamran discovered another aspect of himself as he describes us. He made his own podcast and his own portfolio of photographs taken in the new city that has become his new home.

Did you know what a podcast is before you participated in the seminars? “Not at all! But I enjoyed the experience. I wore earphones, talked to the microphone, then I heard my voice, it was very professional!”, the young Kamran says enthusiastically.

The joy for this experience is shared by the 18-year-old Hamid from Afghanistan. He came from his homeland to Greece three years ago, stayed for a year and a half at the Unaccompanied Minors’ Shelter of the Society for the Care of Minors, and, for the past nine months, he has resided at the SolidarityNow Youth Hostel.

Hamid goes to a high school in Athens and his dream is to become a nurse. At the same time, he attends Greek classes, and, in the afternoons, he works as an interpreter and caregiver at the Unaccompanied Minors’ Shelter. He is lively, extroverted, and gentle, so he immediately matched the character of the program and the lessons in radio and photography. Hamid took part and unfolded his artistic talents! Additionally, he says that living here for him “is almost perfect!”

*Since July 2018, SolidarityNow has been implementing the pilot project “The Resilient Roots Initiative”. The program, co-ordinated by the CIVICUS network in partnership with Keystone Accountability & Accountable Now, aims to improve communication and interaction channels between SolidarityNow management and its beneficiaries. About 60 young people beneficiaries of the organization, from Athens and Thessaloniki, are involved in several activities.

*The Youth Shelter operated by SolidarityNow in partnership with the Society for the Care of Minors and Youth in the framework of the organization’s Accommodation program, is part of the ESTIA- Emergency Support to Integration and Accommodation of the UNHCR GREECE and funding by DG-Home.