Refugee stories: 8 years on

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Refugee stories: 8 years on

As the Syrian civil war enters its 8th year, frustration grows amongst the millions of people displaced in refugee camps across the world. An estimated 11 million Syrian people fled Syria when the civil war struck in 2011. As of March 2018, UNHCR counted nearly 5.6 million registered Syrian refugees worldwide, many of those located in refugee camps across Europe and the Middle East.  

Just one hour North of Athens, situated in the small town of Ritsona, a refugee camp houses over 850 refugees. Established in 2016, Ritsona refugee camp took in refugees mainly from Syria, Iraq and Palestine. Today, the camp’s demographic is ever changing but the uncertainty still remains. We spoke with residents about their experiences in camp and back home in Syria since the beginning of the war.

WARNING: Content might be disturbing to read for some audiences. 

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The mobile phone app bringing Ritsona’s youth closer

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The mobile phone app bringing Ritsona’s youth closer

Whilst spending some time in Ritsona’s local coffee shop, Gold Café, I noticed a crowd of young men all glued to their phones and interacting with one another about what they were doing. It appeared that they were all involved in a live game, playing for the same team.

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New life at Ritsona

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New life at Ritsona

“I hope one day, my baby will forgive me”… difficult words from one of Ritsona’s newest mums, Rashida. Before giving birth to her baby in December, Rashida spoke with I AM YOU about her fears of raising her child in a refugee camp.

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Ritsona's Garden Oasis

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Ritsona's Garden Oasis

In a refugee camp residents here, as elsewhere, crave their own space.  Like me, some people give up an amount of living space for a small garden.  Watching plants thrive, flowers bloom, herbs and grasses reach for the sky, creating small moments of joy for us. They fill our life in tiny increments of sweet memories for which we can be grateful. How much more poignant to see gardens in a refugee camp in Greece. 

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Jean-Claude Dikanda's Story

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Jean-Claude Dikanda's Story

“It is a common held belief that people with strength rule and those who are weak are ruled. My name is Jean-Claude but my friends call me Dikanda. I am from Cameroon and I seek a better life filled with peace.”

Several months ago Lucy, an I AM YOU volunteer, drew a portrait of Dikanda. She hopes to represent the many inspiring personalities and voices that she found in Ritsona and to encourage a much-needed ongoing conversation about the refugee crisis. Last month Amandine, our communications volunteer, interviewed Dikanda. This is his story...

WARNING: Content might be disturbing to read for some audiences. 

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Our Global Footprint

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Our Global Footprint

I AM YOU's Global Footprint

Fadi is Syrian and Stina is Swedish, this is their story...

Imagine having to leave your homeland forever for the unknown. Imagine living with daily thoughts of how others elsewhere in the world live in difficult situations.

A chance coincidence led this couple to I AM YOU.

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I learned to open my eyes...

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I learned to open my eyes...

Melanie has been a volunteer with I AM YOU for 5 months. She just finished her time with us but part of her will stay here always... in the hearts of the children she was taking care of every day. Pre-school will miss her bright smile, high spirit, ukulele skills and most of all her dedication towards positively impacting their educational needs.

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