I will be a reporter
“I imagined that I would have the opportunity to tell people about children who were forgotten, about poverty and neglect”
Arman* (17) was born in Afghanistan**, as the third child in a family of 7 children. He grew up with 4 sisters, 2 brothers and parents.
"My country has never been a safe place. Mother did not work and father worked as a vulcanizer and truck driver. Sometimes my mother didn't even eat, so that we, the children, would have more food left”, says Arman about his life in Afghanistan.
In spite of difficult circumstances, Arman’s parents managed to send him to school and they boy learned how to read and write.
“In the school I attended, there were only 15 books that we children shared with each other. I managed to finish 6 classes”, says Arman.
When Arman was little, he dreamt of becoming a journalist and reporting about the situation in his country and the world.
“I imagined that I would have the opportunity to tell people about children who were forgotten, about poverty and neglect”, says Arman.
Arman’s dream was put on hold when the boy had to leave school and start working.
“My father got sick and I had to do his work. I couldn't drive a truck because I was a boy, but I learned to work as a vulcanizer. After a year, the roads were closed, movement was restricted. I had to leave that job. I decided to head for Europe to make my dream come true", says the boy.
Arman left Afghanistan when he was less than 15 years old. He is now 17 years old. He arrived in Bosnia and Herzegovina four months ago. He is reluctant to talk about his journey but mentioned that he had to collect and sell cardboard packaging to have money for food and travel.
Arman has been staying in the Temporary Reception Center Usivak for four months.
"I met the children who live here and we hang out together. I even met a boy who speaks Turkish and I think we became friends”, says the boy.
Arman now attends informal education classes in the Temporary Reception Centre Usivak. World Vision’s team operates 24/7 in the centre, offering boys like Arman counseling, occupational therapy and working on their individual development plans.
“My hands are like an old man's, because I have carried too many burdens. Now I hold the pen and practice writing.
But it took a while before Arman started coming to the workshops.
"Arman came to the camp with suicidal ideas, withdrawn, without motivation for activities and communication. First, he was provided with guardianship and then he was involved in psychotherapy and also received psychiatric support”,says Amela Hadžihasanović, a psychotherapist.
“Before, I wanted to be alone and didn't like to speak in front of other people. Now I regularly attend activities. If I don't want to talk, that's fine. It's normal that sometimes I just want to sit and listen to others. Other kids sometimes want that too. I'm not unusual or different as I once believed."
Arman initially wanted to go to London, but during his stay in the Ušivak camp, he started thinking about staying in Bosnia and Herzegovina. He had a consultation with the guardian and received information about the procedure for obtaining asylum.
"One day you will see me on television when I am a reporter ", says the boy.
UNICEF and World Vision provide 24/7 protection for unaccompanied children on the move. With the support of legal guardians, psychotherapists, CP Officers and Cultural Mediators, children learn, socialize, heal traumas and rediscover the strength and potential to fulfil their dreams.
*The name has been changed to protect the identity of the minor
**Afghanistan continues to experience crises including drought, floods, insecurity, political and economic instability and displacement, all of which pose serious risks. Around two-thirds of people in Afghanistan cannot meet their basic needs due to crises that have shifted from conflict to economic shock, drought and a gender crisis and millions of children continue to need essential services. Children’s rights are increasingly under attack, while their childhoods are marred by deprivation. Too many of Afghanistan’s children have witnessed scenes that no child should ever see. Children and adolescents are struggling with anxieties and fears, with many in desperate need of mental health support. Around 2.3 million children are expected to face acute malnutrition in 2023, while 875,000 of them will need treatment for severe acute malnutrition – a life-threatening condition and demand for education nationwide is at an all-time high, particularly in areas where there are no schools and children have been deprived of education for years.