June 19, 2021

#fleetingdetails: a virtual exhibit to celebrate world refugee day

When children are forced to leave their country, running away from war, hunger, climate change, or political instability, they leave behind family, friends, and much more. 

Little moments bring back memories of home through details that seemed to be lost forever.  

To celebrate World Refugee Day, we invited children we support in eight countries to describe in a drawing what home means to them. Enjoy!

During the pandemic, as schools were closed, Merci, 14 years old, spent a lot of time with her parents: she watched her father sell shoes at the market, and helped her mom with chores at home. These little moments made her feel closer to them and closer to home.

Merci lives with her parents and eight siblings in the Rwamwanja Refugee Settlement in Uganda. They have been living there for eight years after fleeing the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 2013. Her family is one of the 13,200 economically active but extremely poor refugee and host community households supported in their journey towards self-reliance by the Graduating to Resilience Activity, funded by USAID and carried out by AVSI Uganda in cooperation with Trickle Up and IMPAQ International.

Adayrelys, 12 years old, is from Venezuela. When she thinks about her life there, the first memory that comes to mind is the sea that she could see from her window.

Due to the current Venezuelan crisis, she lives with her parents in a reception center in Roraima, Brazil. AVSI Brasil manages the shelters as part of the project Gestão de abrigos, funded by the UNHCR. Adayrelys already knows what she will do once she leaves the reception center: explore the Brazilian beaches.

Watching his favorite cartoon with his new friends: that’s what makes Marco, 5 years old, feel at home.

He and his family had to leave Honduras, and their journey towards a safer, less violent place brought them to Mexico. Marco is one of the “baby migrants” supported by the project Dignified Inclusion, financed by the European Union and our #TentsCampaign in Italy. The project is implemented by AVSI Mexico with FM4 Paso Libre (Dignidad y Justicia en el camino A.C.) and El Refugio Casa Del Migrante.

For Zahra, 5 years old, home is the refugee camp Al Salam, in Barr Elias, where her parents have been living since they fled Syria for Lebanon in 2013.

“Mom, I want this one because it’s my cousins and me when we play here.” 

Zahra drew her picture with a creative kit she received from AVSI Middle East and the local NGO Sawa for Development and Aid. The initiative is part of Connecting to Learn. Funded by Education Cannot Wait, the project aims to increase access to learning and support Syrian refugee and vulnerable Lebanese children impacted by COVID-19. Inside the creative kit, she found crayons and pictures to color. 

When Roynnix, 12 years old, thinks about Venezuela, he immediately thinks of the park where he used to go with his cousins and uncle. They had so much fun playing together.

Due to the problematic situation in the country, Roynnix and his parents had to move to Ecuador two years ago. They live in a multi-family home in Manta, thanks to the project Activados, funded by the UNHCR and implemented by AVSI Ecuador. The project fosters local integration, peaceful coexistence and supports Venezuelan refugees and migrants in Ecuador.

Hanin, 8 years old, looks forward to seeing her father and brother come back home from work in the evening so that they can have dinner all together. This is the moment when Hanin feels the most at home, even though home for her is a tent in the Marj El Khokh refugee camp in Lebanon.

Thanks to the Italian family that supports her, Hanin can study and find elements of an “ordinary life” in little things. Then, one day, she will hopefully have the chance to explore her real home: Syria.

Matim Gony feels at home among his friends, on the soccer field in the Ifo refugee camp, while he dribbles like Cristiano Ronaldo. It’s easy to guess: soccer is Matim’s favorite sport.

He is 14 years old and lives in the Dadaab Refugee Camp in Kenya, where AVSI implements the Transitional Support Project. Funded by the US Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM), the project aims at fostering integration and quality education in the refugee and host community.

For Lamar, 12 years old, home is being with her family. Sadly, they don’t get together often, only over the weekends. Her parents came to Jordan in 2007, fleeing the Syrian war. Lamar was born here in 2010.

They live in the host community of Aqaba and have been supported by AVSI Middle East through the SAFE II project. Financed by AICS, the project ensures protection and help to families at risk among refugees and local communities in Aqaba and Amman.

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