Mohammed making his friendship bracelet
Mohammed is a 10-year old boy from Afghanistan. He came with his parents to Serbia five months ago. They have been waiting to be allowed to move on to EU in a refugee camp in Vranje in South Serbia. In one room they have been living and waiting... Mohammed has learnt some English and Serbian, has started going to school a week ago. He has been one of 25 boys from different Middle East countries who have been stuck in Serbia and have no idea where they will be going next, when or how. Although he can communicate in three languages, he is most frequently sitting alone on a bench in the camp’s courtyard, or just playing some game on his own.
Aisha is an 11-year old girl from Syria. She, her younger sister and mother have been moved from one camp to the other several times. Ten days ago, they were sent to the Refugee camp in Vranje, whilst the father is still in another camp some 20 kilometres away. Aisha is still most comfortable playing only with her younger sister.
As we have been organising workshops for children, grouping both girls and boys of similar ages together to play, learn, express themselves and socialise, last week, Aisha joined the group for the first time. And Mohammed decided to come too. That’s where he has seen her for the first time so close.
Bajram was coming and all the children in the group were creating some gifts, friendship bracelets, drawings for their families and friends. Mohammed was trying to make a bracelet, but the little crystal would not stick to the material. He got frustrated and impatient. He wanted to leave the group. Then Aisha took his ribbon and asked him which crystals he would like to stick to it. What shape, what colour? He shyly pointed to one of those on the table. She took it, glued it to the ribbon and gave it to him. He smiled. In the next half an hour they made two perfect little friendship bracelets together. Mohammed decided to give one to his Mom and the other one he offered to Aisha. She happily accepted.
Now, they are playing together, drawing pictures of flowers, birds and landscapes. They go together to school. They laugh all the time.
Through various creative workshops, we are providing psycho-social support for 150 children confined to the refugee camps in Serbia. We help them connect, socialise, overcome the trauma they have been experiencing for several years being on the road, going from one country to another, not knowing if they would ever go back home or where they will end up. Thanks to your support, we have been able to do this, to buy the material for the workshops, to buy the necessities for these children and their families, to help them feel human.
Please, help us continue this work, support our efforts to make life just a tiny bit easier for the refugee children from Middle East in Serbia!
Aisha with her Bayram bracelet gift from Mohammed