"I'm happy to be in Germany, because there is no war"

Two boys, one from Syria and one from Germany, break down barriers with friendship

By Angela Hawke
 Nawwar from Syria and Alec from Germany. These 7-year-olds live out the definition of friendship.
UNICEF/Germany

29 August 2016

Meet Nawwar from Syria and Alec from Germany: two seven-year-olds who have become the best of friends.

Nawwar has lived in Berlin for just three months. But he is already excelling at school, according to Alec – a native Berliner – who acted as Nawwar’s interpreter in the early days.

Alec is fascinated by Nawwar’s journey from Syria to Germany, via Turkey and Greece, as Nawwar describes just how arduous that journey was, and how the strength of his imagination kept him going. He is convinced that, during the dangerous sea crossing, he was protected by friendly polar bears.

With help from Alec, Nawwar is learning more German each day. “He’s made a lot of friends so far,” says Alec, “and will probably make many more friends this school year.”


UNICEF supports the long-term integration of refugee and migrant children like Nawwar into the communities where they now live. In Germany and in the other countries with refugee and migrant populations, we work with partners to promote psychosocial services and education for refugee and migrant children, and for strong national child protection systems that benefit all children who are vulnerable.

Our support for education is part of our Agenda for Action for refugee and migrant children, which aims to change attitudes in every country.

  1. Protect child refugees and migrants, particularly unaccompanied children, from exploitation and violence.
  2. End the detention of children seeking refugee status or migrating.
  3. Keep families together as the best way to protect children and give children legal status.
  4. Keep all refugee and migrant children learning and give them access to health and other quality services.
  5. Press for action on the underlying causes of large scale movements of refugees and migrants.
  6. Promote measures to combat xenophobia, discrimination and marginalization in countries of transit and destination.


We must all stand with #ChildrenUprooted.