(This was written a week back, I didn’t realize it wasn’t published)
Contradiction in the title of this post, right? I agree.
In the recent days I am back at the refugee camp, this time in two different camps in Erbil – Kawrgosk and Darashakran. In total, my colleague and I are training 42 youth.
42 young individuals with hopes and dreams; 42 individuals who cross the line to answer ‘yes’ to the “I am optimistic” question. Yet the same 42 say they are lucky to have one shower a week in the personal hygiene session. 42 youth who jump, play and take part in our activities, 42 individuals who laugh, and tell jokes but can immediately cry when asked to talk about the hardest part of living in a refugee camp.
My dear reader, if you have not yet witnessed a young man or woman lose control of the muscles in their eyes to prevent tears from sliding down their cheeks I will explain to you how it feels. It is much worse than you going through pain, it is as though the person you love most in this world is being sliced in front of your eyes, they’re yelling for your help, but you cannot reach them. Yes, that’s how it feels.
Having said this, here we are learning from one another. Empowering these young people to make healthier decisions, lead better lives and most importantly to never lose hope. When our mission ends, we all say goodbye with tears, they know we have made a difference in their lives, and I know I will miss them… a lot.