I Asked Refugee Children To Draw What They Wanted To Be When They Grew Up
In the midst of the worst humanitarian crisis since the Second World War, with more than 65 million displaced people around the world, I came back to Greece to work on my own independent project, a project which aims to find out what is going on inside the heads of today’s refugee children. These children are very visible in the media, but no one seems to be trying to research their thoughts about their past and their hopes for the future.
After spending 45 days living at the Piraeus refugee camp, which has since been closed, the Drawfugees project is now focused on something even simpler than just giving a child a crayon and a piece of paper. We are asking the refugee children what they want to be when they grow up.
This new initiative forms part of the core mission of the Drawfugees project giving children a voice. It is children who are suffering the most from war and human rights abuses. About half of today’s refugees are children.
Many of those children aspire one day to be doctors, teachers or even drivers. Only some of them will make it – but Drawfugees is an optimistic project. While we do not ignore the scars and pain of the past, our focus is not on tragedy but on hope.
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Reem, 6, Syria
“I want to be a pediatrician because my dream is to take care of children just like me. Did you like my drawing?”
Arsyan siloo, 9, Iraq
“I want to be a football player because of Cristiano Ronaldo – me and my father love to watch him playing for Real Madrid , it’s so inspiring”.
Sana Shirzad, 6, Afghanistan
“I want to be a high school teacher when I grow up. My dream is to have my own school in my homeland Afghanistan with a backyard for the children not only learn, but play and have some fun at the same time”.
Aoumar Mazan Shabe, 9, Syria
“I want to be a driver, a chofer. It’s because my father used to do so I want to be just like him. Can I make some money with that?”.
Mohamed Al Kadad, 8, Syria
“This is my house, my children playing while I am coming back from work with my suitcase. I want to be a doctor when I grow up. Merry Christmas everyone!”
Toulay Khalil, 6, Syria
“This me as a dentist taking care of a patient lying on a Red Cross bed. That’s what I want to do.”
Evan Siloo, 5, Iraq
“I want to be a teacher, definitely. But my draw looks more like a house, and not a school, don’t you think? Perhaps because we do not have one”.
Yaser Mazan Shabe, 11, Syria
“I wish that one day I can be a football player. I used to watch a lot of matches with my uncle (in my hometown), such a good memory. I love Real Madrid! Cristiano Ronaldo is the best!! Sorry, I don’t like Barcelona at all!”
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