OneMinutesJr workshop in Turkey - Day 2
by Chris Schuepp
KAHRAMANMARAŞ, Turkey, 24 April 2014 - On day 2 of the OneMinutesJr
workshop in the Kahramanmaraş Refugee Camp we focus on the story
development with the 15 young participants.
View over Kahramanmaraş city with the refugee camp with its 16,000 inhabitants in the background - UNICEF / Chris Schuepp / 2014
One thing is clear from the very beginning: the children are
somewhere between hope and despair. Many of them are traumatized
from the events they witnessed in Syria and are yet to come to terms
with their new reality here in the camp. They go to school, they
live with their parents, brothers and sisters in tents, so in
principal it's a normal life, but still: they are refugees, living
in a camp surrounded with a fence and their future remains unclear.
Amin (14) from Aleppo tells us about the images in his head. When he
closes his eyes, he remembers Syria as the beautiful place from his
early childhood with hills, a river, an apple tree and his family's
house. But when he opens his eyes again, he sees tents, refugee
tents, as far as the eye can see.
UNICEF staff member Mevlut Zümre from the Emergency Office in Gaziantep translates from Arabic to English during the brainstorming with the children at the workshop. - UNICEF / Chris Schuepp / 2014
The camp here in Kahramanmaraş now hosts 16,000 refugees, several
thousand more than the original capacity. Divided into 12 section
with up to 500 tents each, the camp is a spread out over a huge
portion of land on the outskirts of the city. Due to the fact that
the original capacity has been exceeded, extra space is scarce.
Mohammed (15) is also from the Nothern Syrian city of Aleppo and he
missed his local football field. Here in the camp the facilities are
very limited and so he and his friends have to create their own
little football field between tents and fences.
Two young participants checking their footage on the camera - UNICEF / Chris Schuepp / 2014
Umar from Latakya has been here for eight months now. His family
lost their house during the war and had to flee the country. The
14-year-old boy wants to become an architect and his dream is to
build a new house for his family when they return to Syria after the
war. Until then, he is making plans and he is practicing. His first
draft is a small house made from wooden ice-cream sticks he picked
up and collected in the camp. With the limited opportunities here,
the most creative are the ones who will succeed.
Yazid (13) from Idlip remembers the beautiful garden they had back
in Syria before the war. All the trees had been planted by his
father. Now Yazid is sad and about to cry when he tells us that his
father passed away a few months ago here in the refugee camp. How to
save the situation and give Yazid a perspective? We go back to the
roots, literally, and Yazid will plant a tree, the first tree in the
camp. In honor of his father and to grow new hope for the future.