“We can’t understand the teachers — that’s why no one went to school yesterday”
Children stranded in Greek refugee camps share their fears and wishes
Since January of this year, 38% of new arrivals to Greece have been children. Yet we rarely hear what they have to say.
Child participation is one of the core principles of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which asserts that children and young people have the right to freely express their views on all matters affecting them, and to have their opinions taken into account.
“...Please think about us — we are children. We didn’t do
anything to make them not like us or not help us.”
— Afghan girl, 13–15
In November, Internews and Save the Children delivered a series of workshops designed to help children in refugee sites near Athens express themselves in creative ways. Syrian children in Ritsona site and Afghan children in Oinofyta site participated.
The results of the workshops were featured in a special issue of In The Loop, a weekly publication that connects the humanitarian community and the people affected by the EU refugee crisis.
The publication is based on interactions with 68 children and young people in Greece, as facilitated by Internews Refugee Liaison Officers.
By having children tell stories through drawings, photography and other creative means, and not consider these as the end result of a creative workshop, but as a source of valuable information, Internews was able to document of valuable feedback, which was analysed and shared in relevant humanitarian meetings.
Child participants were consulted on key decisions, including the selection of activities, the outcomes of their participation, the design of materials they produced, and the platforms used to share their work. The children agreed to share their views and experiences in the hope that decision-makers will listen to what they have to say.
Translators Without Borders translated the issue into Farsi and Arabic — as well as Greek — and copies were provided to the participating children and their parents, as well as humanitarians and Greek authorities.
As part of this pilot project for Communicating with Children, Internews produced a report — “When children talk, are we listening?” — to document the participatory methods we used to support children to express themselves.
In The Loop explores the concerns and perceptions of people affected by the EU refugee crisis. Internews documents online and offline feedback gathered from refugees and migrants on a daily basis. By providing analysis of this feedback, the review aims to strengthen accountability and close the feedback loop by giving voice to affected persons.
Current, future and past issues of In the Loop can be accessed in English, Arabic, Greek and Farsi on the News That Moves website. Subscribe at this link to receive the weekly issues of In The Loop in email: http://eepurl.com/b-Ls4H
Internews’ work in Greece is part of the Mixed Migration Platform, with support from Save the Children UK and the Open Society Initiative for Europe. Victoria Jack was Humanitarian Data Manager for Internews.