Heal Syrian Refugee Children Through Photography

by EMFASIS FOUNDATION
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Heal Syrian Refugee Children Through Photography
Heal Syrian Refugee Children Through Photography
Heal Syrian Refugee Children Through Photography
Heal Syrian Refugee Children Through Photography
Heal Syrian Refugee Children Through Photography
Heal Syrian Refugee Children Through Photography
Heal Syrian Refugee Children Through Photography
Heal Syrian Refugee Children Through Photography
Heal Syrian Refugee Children Through Photography
Heal Syrian Refugee Children Through Photography
Heal Syrian Refugee Children Through Photography
Heal Syrian Refugee Children Through Photography
Heal Syrian Refugee Children Through Photography
Heal Syrian Refugee Children Through Photography
Heal Syrian Refugee Children Through Photography
Heal Syrian Refugee Children Through Photography
Heal Syrian Refugee Children Through Photography
Heal Syrian Refugee Children Through Photography
Heal Syrian Refugee Children Through Photography
Heal Syrian Refugee Children Through Photography
Heal Syrian Refugee Children Through Photography
Heal Syrian Refugee Children Through Photography
Heal Syrian Refugee Children Through Photography
Heal Syrian Refugee Children Through Photography
Heal Syrian Refugee Children Through Photography
Heal Syrian Refugee Children Through Photography
Heal Syrian Refugee Children Through Photography
Heal Syrian Refugee Children Through Photography
Heal Syrian Refugee Children Through Photography
Heal Syrian Refugee Children Through Photography
Heal Syrian Refugee Children Through Photography

We are very proud of the program, of its goals and objectives and of its benefits to all of the young participants.  

Despite the always challenging conditions, the high turnover of the Syrian youth, the emotional turmoil faced by those in constant “wait” to receive news and updates for their future circumstances, the program has managed to overcome all such challenges and provide with an artistic and creative escape from harsh realities.

In parallel with the photography and videography workshops, numerous interactive discussions, activities and constructive reflections took place. The Syrian youth was able to express its fears, frustrations, hope for a brighter future, resilience for what may come.

They were exposed to their own talent, the Greek culture, they were armed with confidence and credit for the talent showcased.

By the end June, we will complete the last workshops and temporarily cease the program for a period of time, as the atmosphere is rather tense in view of the snap elections announced and changes in the refugee/migration policies are anticipated. The access to the various camps has been recalled, hence, the logistics almost impossible to implement. 
We see it as an opportunity to invest the required time to conduct a thorough assessment of our social impact, review our precious video and photo material, and share with the youth and the parents all of their astonishing creations.

The cease will be a moment of celebration of more than:

2 years of team spirit, bonding, creativity beyond borders
185 young participants in the workshops
78 workshops of photography/videography
Thousands of photos taken by the Syrian children and youth
100 different mini videos/footage during the workshops

Emfasis team will stay in touch with all the participants addressing issues that may occur in the future as part of the ongoing support we tend to offer to every vulnerable group of people. The bond between us is strong and it will continue to exist even though the project comes to a closure.

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Here is our latest news from our Heal Syrian Refugee Children Through Photography project!

 

Τhe camp is no longer accessible due to change of government policy which has revised all permits of entry for the remaining NGO’s in the government run refugee camps.

All workshops are now held at civilian meeting points catering for refugee families, located in 3 different locations in the center of Athens and greater Attica.

The sessions have been a combination of life skills such as “independent use of means of transport” as to how to reach the meeting venue, widening the audience with more refugee families and children who now live in subsidized apartments, aiming to obtain a stronger sense of community, with classes who have mixed audience (in and out of camp).

Our photographer has discussed with them whether it would be advisable to complete this round of workshops now at the end of February, and keep a single class with the elder students that have a number of photography tasks to fulfill.

We are also discussing with the parents, if they would like to take a break, as admittedly the weather conditions have been overall challenging and moving from one place to another and especially coming from the camp area which is almost 40km outside Athens, has put a lot of strain on them.

The general consensus was to take a small break for the month of March until the weather conditions would be significantly better and kick back the classes as of April. We already discussed how we could possibly have a fixed outing per week to boost morale and trigger more interest with some out of the city day trips. We have obtained a positive reaction from all concerned and now need to sort out logistics and safety.

Our new stream of helping volunteers will play a key part at the next stage, the video/filming has provided a nice enrichment for the elder students and we are proud of their strong will to pursue with the alternate photo/video shooting.

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Here is our latest news from our Heal Syrian Refugee Children Through Photography project!

Τhe camp continues to be a challenge on all aspects. The attendance became very weak as the psychological situation of all the family members is hitting an all-time low.  You can sense that all involved are losing hope and become more and more desperate to escape the life in a camp. The departures are less frequent. The mood is far from joyful.

Nevertheless, due to the fact that our students have started school and got back to their usual routines, the participation is somehow stronger and we added more flexi hoursto our weekly programme.We noticed that when they take photos, it is all about an exit, a way out or a means of transport, a boat, a plane. The healing factor is present: every photo is expressing a unique story.

After almost two years, we are glad to provide an opportunity of expression like no other. Older and younger students now share the same anxiety, how to rebuild their life out of the constraints of a camp but they know they are now equipped with a unique healing tool, that of healing photographs and videos, depicting the daily colours of a life the fate of which is yet to be decided.

We also introduced a new stream of helping volunteers in our team, and tried to introduce some “festive” new year themes for next month. They were more than happy to meet new faces and helped them have some more sociable moments.

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Neighborhood level healing photography
Neighborhood level healing photography

Here is our latest news from our Heal Syrian Refugee Children Through Photography project!

During the summer months and due to the fact that the weather conditions in the camp were not conducive (extreme heat, humidity, heavy rainfall in between) we decided to experiment with a different format of roving/mobile healing photography workshops.

Together with our team of photographers we “roamed” around the neighborhoods and areas in central Athens where there was a big concentration of Syrian families living in renting accommodation outside the camp and with small teams of children and members of their families we circled around the neighborhood areas capturing random shots from the life around the neighborhood.

This format increased our reach and penetration of Syrian community for those who live outside the camp and kept the children creatively occupied during a period when all schools and classes are shut for the duration of summer period.

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Here is our latest update of The workshop at the Thiva Refugee Open Hospitality Structure! 

 

Yes, it is already summer, with temperatures above 30 degrees Celcius and we are slowly but steadily moving outdoors for all the classes.

The 15+ year old, have presented their first self-made photography project based entirely on all the technical skills they have learnt in the last 3 months. They see the results of their hard work and it is very touching. We keep “losing” participants, as they move to other Refugee Hospitality Structures or get their documents sorted to move on. It always causes an emotional void after one of the students leaves our class and it affects everyone for some time. These young kids and young adults, are nevertheless resilient and they somehow recover swiftly. Our photographers and volunteers describe it as a huge learning curve and character shaping.

As we had announced previously, our first monthly joint workshop has taken place, which we have to admit was very challenging. The photos served as a reference to their previous life as well as a compass for their current situation and the aspirations and dreams for the future. Some of the young participants, have stated that they would like to become professional photographers and they hope they can get the chance to earn a living out of it. They mentioned that it is a less painful way to describe and reflect what they have been through and use it as a source of inspiration and strength for the future.

We informed them that our project video "Taking Young Syrians to a healing journey through photography with GlobalGiving" did not win any accolades but that the true value is that they engaged wholeheartedly into a team project.

 

In June and July, we have scheduled full day trips for abstract and nature photography.

 

 

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Organization Information

EMFASIS FOUNDATION

Location: Dafni, Attiki - Greece
Website:
Project Leader:
Katerina Markoula
Dafni, Attiki Greece

Funded Project!

Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.
   

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