"I want to tell girls to believe and fight until they achieve their goals" - Lina Alokla, 13

On the International Day of the Girl we share the inspiring thoughts of two refugee girls in Bulgaria

Лина Алокла
UNICEF Bulgaria/2021
11 October 2021

Meet Lina Alokla, 13 years old from Syria, to whom we asked a few questions on the occasion of the International Day of the Girl, and our goal is to inspire other vulnerable girls in Bulgaria not to stop pursuing their dreams and goals. 

- What is your dream career/profession and why?

I have decided to become a makeup artist. I have been dreaming of opening a studio where I can do people’s makeup and hair since I was little.

- What is your future aspiration when you get older/What do you want to achieve?

I think that’s what I’m good at and that’s my future – when I grow up I want to have this profession. I have promised mom that if she wants to, she can also work with me. She can do anything.

- Why do you think Technology and Innovation is important for Girls?

One person may know more than another and the second can learn from the first. All these modern technologies allow for easier access to knowledge that can be acquired additionally. There are many people who want to learn this skill and I could use video lessons to teach other people what I have learned and what I can do.

- Who is your most important role model in education or skills, and why?

My mother is my role model. Ever since I told her it was my dream, she has started showing me different things, teaching me and guiding me. She supports me in everything, she explains things to me. Even when I can’t do something well, she encourages me to try. She is actually my model, I try different make-up techniques on her face until it turns out well.

- If you could create 1 thing that would make the world better/safer for girls and women, what would that be?

I wish I could offer support to all the girls in the world for everything. If I could, I would like to tell the younger ones to think about the future, not to live day by day, to have a dream from an early age. Not to listen to those friends who tell them nothing will come of their efforts. To trust in themselves,

to fight until they reach their goals.I have been dreaming of my own studio since I was little and I believe that I will achieve it.

Тасним - момче, търсещо закрила в България
UNICEF Bulgaria/2021

Tasnim, 12 yo, Morocco, seeking protection. She speaks French, English, Arabic and already understands a little Bulgarian

- What is your dream career/profession and why?

I haven’t really thought about what I would become, but I have a dream – to become a veterinarian, because I love animals very much. I also love nature. I like both medicine and animals, so this profession is a good combination between the two.

- What is your future aspiration when you get older/What do you want to achieve?

What I would like most when I grow up is to be free of worry, to have a house that I will share with my mother and father, to have beautiful nature all around the house, no harmful emissions from cars and nice and clean air.

The schools in Morocco use a ten-point system and I always got 8 out of 10. I thought to myself, why shouldn’t I get 10 out of 10? I wanted it so badly that at the end of the year I scored an average of 9.97 in all disciplines. This made me believe that if you want something strongly enough and you set it as your goal, it will happen.

Yesterday at school they gave us our textbooks. I love history and geography so much that I wanted to shout and cry because I adore these two subjects, but I don’t understand Bulgarian well enough to read them. I was supposed to be in 7th grade, but now I’m in 5th grade because of the language. When I learn Bulgarian, I would like to look for a class with French.

My dream is to have my own veterinary clinic. I imagine it big, with operating rooms, consultation rooms, rooms where sick animals could sleep over, separate rooms for cats and dogs, for reptiles, etc., equipped with all the necessary equipment. If the animal is a horse or a cow, we will make home visits.

- Why do you think Technology and Innovation is important for Girls?

Technology is something important in life, here’s an example – I had an important meeting with you today, we arranged it with a voice message. If there was no technology, this invitation would have reached us by letter in a few days.

  • Who is your most important role model in education or skills, and why?

It’s my mother. When she was 8 years old, her parents divorced. She stayed with her father and his wife. My mother always told her father that she wanted to go to good schools, but that didn’t happen. Two more girls and a boy were born into the family, but they were reluctant to study, although they were given many opportunities.

My mother was very disadvantaged in terms of learning opportunities. However, she had the will, she was a fighter, she found a way to study programming, but it turned out that it was difficult for a woman to pursue this profession in Morocco. So she started studying French so she could teach, which was an acceptable profession for a woman. In Morocco, unfortunately, in many spheres there are no opportunities for realisation. We still do not know whether this is the case in Bulgaria and whether she will be able to find a skilled job. Many places turn her down because she is still seeking protection. Thank God, my mother showed me that one should not give up in life. Here we are now, trying to keep going forward and learn from everything.

- If you could create 1 thing that would make the world better/safer for girls and women, what would that be?

I would like all people to be ordinary. There are people who have only themselves to blame for their failure, and there are those who want to grow but can’t find an opportunity. And there are those who have everything and are smart, but something in their life makes them fail.

All people should treat each other equally well, not look at what people look like, but what is in their heart.

In Morocco, I had a friend who was a little plumper. People kept insulting her, and she was so good and beautiful. She lost the will even to go to school. Yet people could treat everyone equally well, everyone deserves to be treated well. Because there is a lot of discrimination, a lot of injustice. We keep in touch with my friend and her whole family. I now have friends from Iraq here, whom I met at Caritas Sofia, at the Homework Club, and then we were at a camp again from Caritas Sofia.

We need to put the hormone of happiness in the waters of all people so that they are all good.