Children talk outside their tent at the Moria refugee camp on the Greek island of Lesbos on January 8, 2020 | Photo: EPA/Orestis Panagiotou
Children talk outside their tent at the Moria refugee camp on the Greek island of Lesbos on January 8, 2020 | Photo: EPA/Orestis Panagiotou

A six-episode documentary attempts to give a voice to migrants under the age of 18 in Greece who have witnessed one of the worst humanitarian crises of our time. The web series, named "Through Our Eyes," is sponsored by the NGO Still I Rise.

As part of the International Day for Migrant Rights on December 18, the NGO Still I Rise sponsored a web series entitled "Through Our Eyes".

The six-episode documentary tries to restore a voice to the tens of thousands of migrants who have spent time on the Greek Aegean Islands. The protagonists are seven youths between the ages of 11 and 16. The stories of their living situations, their daily personal battles and their adolescent dreams are part and parcel of the documentary.

As a statement from the organization noted, the web series is part of a project that the non-profit organization, which has been working on the island of Samos since 2018, is engaged in for the rights of refugees minors.

Stories of enormous difficulties

Every episode delves into a different issue, from life in hotspots to the fight for the right to eduction; from integration as the reflection of a possible world to the enormous difficulties linked to this; all the way to the negative psychological repercussions on life in such an arduous environment without friends and the ability to attend school.


Those telling their stories are named Faizuddin, Nahid, Rostam, Milad, Mobina, Mahdi and Madalena. Despite being forced every day to deal with immense hardship, they dream of a just, better future in Europe.

"The camp is not a safe place, it is very dirty. There are too many mice, rats, insects. Even if you don't have coronavirus and you are healthy, if you live too long in the camp you will automatically get sick," says Faizuddin, 11 years old, leading character of the first episode.

Faizuddin has been living in Samos refugee camp with his family since February 2020.

"It is difficult to live in a tent, but we live there because we know it is just for a year or nine months and then we will leave... or maybe not, I don't know".

'Allow children to go to school'

Faizuddin's voice is echoed in second episode by Nahid, 14 years old, a young activist who after one year in Samos now lives in Ritsona camp, in mainland Greece: "If I could, the first thing that I would change would be the mindset, in order to allow children to go to school. The second step would be to change the conditions in which the camp finds itself".

In Ritsona, Nahid joined the Refugee Youth Movement and continues to fight for the right to education for children and adolescents. In Greece only 30% of refugee children regularly attends school.

Other activities by Still I Rise

The web series "Through Our Eyes" integrates the photographic book "Through Our Eyes" (only in Italian: "Attraverso i nostri occhi, Bur Rizzoli 2020"), written by Nicolò Govoni, Nicoletta Novara and the students of Mazì, the school of Still I Rise in Samos.

Both the book and the web series are the result of the homonymous photographic exhibition that has already toured more than 36 cities around the world. The whole project joins the petition activities that Still I Rise has been carrying out since 2018, especially through EU institutions.

In the words of Still I Rise, ''giving back the voice to those directly concerned becomes an essential tool in fighting towards the development of a European Union that re-establishes the rights of which it has historically been the birthplace, starting with the rights of children.''


 

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