SOS Children’s Villages started working in the Kara Tepe refugee camp on Lesbos island in December 2015. The camp hosts mostly vulnerable families, with a large number of children staying in makeshift homes with limited access to education or other supports. SOS worked with girls living in the Kare Tepe refugee camp in Lesbos to start a letter writing project. Those attending Greek language classes were asked to describe what they wanted to be when they grow up and why, to encourage them to pursue their dreams.
As the girls wanted to share their dreams with someone close to them, SOS Children’s Villages Greece came up with the idea to have the girls send a letter to a beloved friend who is in their home county. The idea led them to discuss their dreams with their classmates and teachers and some decided to draw a picture of how they imagined themselves in the future.
Below are the English versions of some of the letters, which show the hopes and dreams of the young girls SOS supports.
From: Alia*, 11, from Afghanistan
How are you? I am very well! Right now, I am in Greece and I live with my family in the Kara Tepe camp. I only go to school on Tuesdays at noon. I also go to the SOS school, to learn English very well. My favourite subjects are physics and mathematics. I study hard because I want to finish school and become an astronaut. I am very interested in space. What about you? What is your favourite subject? What would you like to become when you grow up?
Looking forward to hearing from you!
From: Naamah*, 11, from Afghanistan
Hello, how are you? I am very well, living in Greece! Where are you?
Do you go to school? I only go to school on Mondays. In the afternoon, I ride my bicycle with my friends. My favorite subjects are English, Greek and mathematics. When I grow up, I want to become a fashion designer, because I like making a lot of clothes for people.
What are your favorite subjects?
With all my love,
From: Afri*, 10, from Afghanistan
How are you? I am very well! Right now, I am in Greece and I live with my family in Kara Tepe camp. Every afternoon I go to the park and I do gymnastics with my friends.
When I grow up, I want to become a gymnast because I like sports and I also like teaching children.
From: Maalai*, 12 years, from Afghanistan
Good evening Aadila,
How are you? I am very well! Now, I am in Greece and I live with my family in the Kara Tepe camp. For now, I have school only on Mondays at noon. I also go to the SOS Children’s Villages school, to learn English very well. My favorite subjects are history and physics. I study very hard because I want to finish school and become a journalist. I want to become a journalist because I want to travel all over the world and meet new people. I also want to learn about their culture and foods. What do you want to be when you grow up?
*Names have been changed to protect the privacy of the children
SOS Children’s Villages Emergency Response in Greece
SOS Children’s Villages has helped more than 20,000 children at Kara Tepe since 2015.
The refugee response program has provided more than 250 unaccompanied children with housing, care and educational activities. Part of our programing includes remedial classes and language support for children and young people.
On the Greek island of Lesbos, various measures have been taken to avoid the spread of COVID-19, including suspending direct contact between people living in the refugee camps and those providing services to children and families. Despite the restrictions, the team of SOS Children’s Villages Greece on Lesbos continued to provide educational support to students and their families through distance learning and by distributing school materials.