I saw a book which has dark cover page with big white letters and I interested in its headline. The headline is that: “On the Brink of a Lost Generation”. The book was a research about refugees of Syrian children and youth in Turkey by Açık Toplum (Open Society) Foundation. They made field visits lasting four months to conduct surveys and observed the environment where children live. The research’s first and the most important outcome is that Syrians use a different language; because of this they couldn’t communicate easily with local community. Turkish alphabet is in Latin letters, not Arabic, moreover there are lots of other differences between two languages. Because of these barriers children couldn’t access the primary education in public schools.
Of course they have different obstacles like child labour. They and also their families need to earn money for living. Their priorities are very different from the other children who live in Turkey. There was another data that has shaken me. “79 % of children who had to escape from war have witnessed a family member’s death.
Just for a moment, I tried to put myself into these children’s shoes. One night I am waking up with quake and voices that I can’t define. There are screams, voices of frightened people, rifle shots, airstrikes… Probably I need to protect myself, my family first and I feel desperate, surprised and then hopeless… When I try to imagine all of these happenings I couldn’t manage myself, keep calm as a 32 year old adult. But all of these children live that and try to adapt their new life. it’s incredible. He or she just a little child but keep his/her mother’s, father’s maybe brother’s fear inside his/her heart. If you need to understand more please watch this video.
Unfortunately these stories are all real they aren’t imaginative. I heard them from a child or I read them in researches reports. I have a nephew. He is 19 months very cute boy. All of our family love him very much. His mother is a teacher and try to grow him as an educated mom. She doesn’t buy all of he wants. Although he has lots of toys, stuffs and needs. I know children who want new toys, new clothes or costumes etc. Maybe all of them are normal for our life. But in here for children of war they are not dream or needs. I realize something for them.
There are children whose ages between 6 and 13. They escape from the war. They have different needs and wishes. Such as;
- “War means a migration and this means the people who live the country which we migration don’t like us. I wish to turn back to my country.”
- “I couldn’t read, write. I wish I go to school.”
- “I wish to turn back my country.”
- “I don’t want to work in the field. I wish I play games with my friends.”
- “I wish I have good dreams. I don’t want to hear gunshots anymore.”
- “I wish I don’t want to get angry any people who live there, I wish they like us.”
- “I wish I grow up and go to work.”
- “My best friend remained in Syria, I missed him. I wish I play with him again.”
- “I wish my little sister used to smile me again.”
There are lots of wishes like that. There is no wish about new clothes, costumes, toys etc. Their childhood agendas are very different. They are all on basic needs. They try to understand what happens.
I felt deeply saddened about this wish, in particular: “I don’t want to get angry anybody living here, I wish they liked us.” I thought that: “What did we do a child to make her/him feel just like that?”