Through the Eyes of a Refugee Family

Their story Afghan refugees

My name is Fatimah.  I am twenty-five years old and an Afghan currently residing at the refugee camp on the island of Lesvos, Greece.  Here is a little of my translated story: 

I wake up early in the morning due to the coldness of my body.  I wrap the few blankets we have to cover up my two little children. They are four and six.  Oh how I wish for a good life for them – a safe future.

Afghan family mom kids refugees

Though, this is safer than Afghanistan My husband goes to get into the foodline. It is raining, it is muddy, it is cold, it is windy. He puts on his raincoat and slips on his boots. He waits and waits in the food line, eating the same thing everyday.  The kids are awake and we fold our blankets up.  I turn on the battery run camping light.  The electricity is not dependable.  We are lucky when we have the electricity in our small tent.

There is a blanket that divides our family and another family of five.  I plug in our kettle to make chai tea.  I add four scoops of sugar.  I hold my cup close to me to warm my hands.  Oh how I wish for a warm, dry house one day.  I step outside my tent now that the rain has slowed down.  I squat down as I brush my teeth into a river of water and mud.

We eat our breakfast and I wash the dishes in a bucket outside our tent.  The sun is coming out so I wash our clothes in the bucket and hang them out to dry.  Our tent is ruined due to the wind.  We need more tarps.  We need more rope.

Handmade bread at Moria refugee camp in Lesvos GreeceCovid Eurorelief workers help refugees Lesvos Moria Greece

We go to Eurorelief Info Point and talk to the translator that translates from Farsi to English.  There is a young American girl with blue eyes.  “Tent number 667. The wind has ruined our tent. Can we please have a tarp and rope?”  The American girls says, “I’m so sorry but we don’t have any to give out. We can put your tent number on the maintenance list and we will get to your tent as soon as possible.”

Disappointed . . .  Angry . . .  All we need is rope and a tarp!  How can I live like this?  I’ve been in this camp for 9 months.  All we hear is, “I’m sorry. We don’t have.”  When will we get to leave this place?

I get a seven and half minute hot shower once a week.  I get to leave this camp once a week for three hours.  This isn’t living.  This is just surviving.  But I must keep being strong.  For my children!  I hope one day they will go to school and learn English.  And they can play safely.  Oh I am holding onto the hope of their future.  Soon, I hope so very soon.  So day by day, I will keep surviving here.