How education is helping refugee children continue their dreams in Greece

A father tells us why he is prioritising his children's education above everything

UNICEF
Omid and his daughter enjoy and cuddle and laugh together.
UNICEF/AAAA8611#/Karahalis

29 January 2018

Omid, a father from Iran, left the insecurity of his war-torn homeland to find safe haven in Greece with his two children.

Despite these upheavals, their daily routine seems unchanged. They wake up every morning and prepare breakfast. A seemingly normal life. Omid believes that the most important element of their new life is the opportunity for his children to attend school. 

“It is vital for my kids to go to school because with knowledge you can achieve your dreams and above that you are free – you can stand on your own two feet.”

“Happiness has a different meaning for every person. I perceive happiness as the ability to materialize your dreams, to be free. To be able to study, learn and become what you want. And this is exactly, as a father, what I want for my children – to be successful as well as to help the poor and those in need." 

“I don’t know whether I will stay here permanently. What I am sure of is that I will do anything in my power for my children to grow up with security, to attend school, and become successful individuals in a democratic society”. 

Omid’s son does his homework while his daughter plays with a toy horse in her own world, as if to say that the worst is over and now the future can be better.

“I am not fully aware of my children’s dreams. Since you asked me, I will tell you what I want, without being 100% sure that what I wish will happen: I want them to become anything they want, doctors, scientists, but (what I really want) is for them to help those in need. I always tell my children to respect and be appreciative. To be optimists. These are the important elements for me as a father." 

This is a project supported by UNICEF and funded by the European Union – Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid.