Aarif* is a 17-year-old boy from Afghanistan currently living in a camp close to Athens. He used to live in Iran with his three brothers, sister and parents. Aarif and his family arrived in Greece 15 months ago after a very tough journey. They applied for family reunification seven months ago so they could reunite with Aarif’s brother who lives in Sweden.
Aarif’s parents decided to leave Iran because they wanted a better future for their children. As Afghans living in Iran, they lacked their basic rights such as access to universities and legal employment. Aarif says Afghans are treated as second class citizens in Iran.
In Greece, he feels he can decide for himself and build his future. He started studying Greek by himself and with the help of some Greek friends he already speaks some basic Greek. His dream is to live in a house, to study at university and become an IT expert.
With funding from EU Humanitarian Aid, Save the Children provides a range of child protection and non-formal educational activities to vulnerable refugee children and their families residing in Greece.
“The classes were very good and helpful,” says Aarif. “Save the Children staff take us with the bus from the entrance of the camp and then they drive us back which is very helpful. I like that the classes are outside the camp. I want to learn so I prefer coming here because the people who attend classes here really want to learn. I really want to thank everyone for giving us this opportunity."
With support from EU Humanitarian Aid, Save the Children is teaching young refugees how to use the Internet, and other basic computer programmes, such as Word, Excel and PowerPoint.
"We know a little bit about them but in the classes we improved all these skills. I would like to continue these kinds of classes because I think it’s very important for our future jobs. I personally want to be an IT professional. I started learning IT by myself, I had a computer when I was 10 years old," explains Aarif.
* Name changed to protect identity