“A” Is a 10 year old girl who had to flee Afghanistan with her family due to the precarious conditions that prevailed there.
Following a hard and perilous journey to reach Greece, “A” had to experience separation from her mother, who along with her younger sister left to a Northern European country to seek international protection.
I meet “N” and her father at the waiting room of the Day Center. The father has an appointment with the Center’s social service. He seeks advice on how to help his daughter, as she is in a bad emotional state after her mother took her younger brother and left to another European country.
“N” from Afghanistan speaks Greek, but is very shy initially. She is playing a game in her father’s smartphone. After the first moments of inhibition she tells me that she doesn’t speak much greek because she doesn’t go to school as “there is no teacher”. She says she is happy here in Greece because she is with her dad and dad told her that “It is fine here”. When she grows up she wants to just “be with dad and travel a lot”.
He’s 13 years old and his name is Mohammad. He came with his mum from Iran, leaving his father and his two sisters behind. He was my first student in the Day center.
I remember him bashful, almost stuck to his mum as they climbed up the staircase. His head bowed, he avoided eye contact with everyone. He sat on a chair and didn’t talk, not even when I called him to the classroom to meet him. He avoided looking at me, didn’t respond to whatever I asked him, didn’t react to whatever the interpreter told him. He didn’t even want to draw anything…
When he left, I wasn’t even sure that he’d come back. Still, I knew that I would never forget him! Despite the cicrumstances of our interaction he would still be my first student on the Day Center.