Would you like a Syrian Penfriend?

15/12/16

We’re delighted to announce the launch our exciting new Refugee Penfriend project.

For decades, having penpals has been a well-loved way to make new friends, discover what life like in another part of the world, learn from each other and share life’s ups and downs.

We want to bring together children now in Greek refugee camps with children in Europe. These kids are our future and we know they just want to make friends. In a world with so much division and ignorance, imagine how positive it could be if they can make friends now as penpals.

After months of preparation in co-operation with our friends at IRC to create communication systems, translators and safeguarding, we are now looking for 10 children in the UK aged 10-14 who would like to become penpals and friends with these children in Alexandreia refugee camp now.

They have started it off with this sincere letter they got together to write themselves:

Dear all brothers and sisters,

We are sending this message from Alexandreia camp. Here we live in a place which is not bad compared to the situation we managed to escape from and the war that has forced us to leave our country. Despite the fact that we were surprised with such a painful life, we still have big dreams and we hope to achieve them in a place where the cold weather and suffering means something beautiful to us. It’s just a small, simple school where we have learnt a lot, we have learnt that is not necessary to own precious things to bring you happiness.

We have learnt that although we do not wear the same clothes, we carry the same dreams. Yes, our clothes are simple and they aren’t right for school, but we carry huge ambitions. We have learnt to make valuable things from very simple things. We have met good and kind new people, we have learnt beautiful new traditions and habits, we have learnt how to stay friends even if we have different opinions or different religions. We just wish that nothing as bad as what has happened to us from the war takes place and peace prevails in the whole world.

But we have some questions and we hope to have answers for them:

– What would you do if you were living in that difficult situation?
– Would you accept us in your country after closing the borders on our way and after all the suffering and what we have been through?
– Would you accept us in your country and school as friends after the war has taken away our friends and separated us?
– Would you be as brothers and sisters and family after we lost ours?
– Could your country be like ours or will we stay forever refugees?
– Would you be able to help us to learn your language and traditions?

Finally, we wish to let you know that we have lost in the war the most basic right for us which is Education. We came hoping to continue that, it would help us to get our right back, to learn and to live the decent life that we deserve.

And finally, we would like to thank you for listening and for giving us the opportunity to speak about our ambitions and dreams.

Sara (11), Aya (12), Tulin (12), Eman (12), Amal (12), Fatmeh (12), Naama (14), Najah (14) (girls)
Yasser (10), Kusai (14) (boys)

Please send us an email to refugee.penfriend at refugeesupporteu.com to register your interest and we will get back to you.