This video is the first in a series created to share the faces, voices and stories of young asylum seekers and their families.
This was a collaboration with Lonais Jaillais from School Without Frontiers who lived early this year in the recently burned down Moria Refugee Camp in Lesbos, Greece, accompanying refugee initiatives to create cross-cultural events and spaces for learning and celebration.
This project was a deep dive for me into the devastating realities of the refugee crises. As we planned to make this video, we did a series of Skype calls while Lonais was in the thick of life in Moria. The stories he had to show and tell were both heart-wrenching and heart-expanding. I’m grateful for this opportunity to feel more deeply into humanity’s collective pain and beauty.
I’ll share some of Lonais’ words here:
“On our learning journey on the frontiers of Europe, we came across these children, thousands of children in limbo…Unschooled…Dreaming of a school. This dramatically transformed our perspective. We became involved, with amazing people in exile, in building a school with them. An extraordinary school by all standards, where children and adults from all nations could meet, exchange, learn – and most of all, be safe. 2.600 students had enrolled in it on the second day. Now this school has burned to ashes. On Lesbos, the ailments of the world are wide open. There is so much beauty and so much pain oozing out from it. We still struggle to make sense of all this adventure. But we know we will stand even stronger for human rights.”
The children of Moria beckon us towards hope in humanity, a chance to acknowledge their/our resilience, creativity, capacity for love and joy in (sometimes, especially) the direst of circumstances.
To receive news from and support the unfolding situation of the thousands of people, still in limbo on Lesbos–right now, visit Wave Of Hope, a group of refugees and asylum seekers on the island of Lesvos (previous residents of Camp Moria) who work to address the educational needs of especially children, youth and women.