The unaccompanied children hosted in METAdrasi’s Accommodation Facility for Unaccompanied Minors in Samos celebrated, all together, with Christmas specialties, sweets and small gifts. METAdrasi’s team – psychologists, social workers, tutors, interpreters, members of METAdrasi’s Guardianship Network for Unaccompanied Minors, the facility’s “Mammas” (the three ladies who take care of cooking and housekeeping) – are at their side to offer them joy and warmth, understanding their nostalgia for their homelands and families.
Three of the children, Abdul, Amir and Sami, are sharing with us their feelings during these festive days.
At an extremely difficult time for METAdrasi’s shelter in Samos, we greatly appreciate the support of Terre des hommes.
Translation of the article at “Kathimerini” newspaper:
“At Christmas I miss my family”
“We do not have Christmas in Afghanistan, but we have Eid that is like your Christmas. At our feasts we leave and go to the mountain all together for 1-2 days. We are all very happy, we eat with our family and we laugh. We all buy new clothes and shoes. Everything is brand new! I remember three years ago in my village that we were all together – parents, uncles, cousins. We gathered and went from house to house in the village and then headed for the mountain. It’s one of my best memories. At every feast I miss my family, I’m glad, but I would like my own people”.
Little Abdul from Afghanistan spent this Christmas with a different “family”, that of METAdrasi’s Accommodation Facility for Unaccompanied Minors in Samos. The Organization’s team, psychologists, social workers, the “mammas” of the structure, the three ladies who take care of cooking and housekeeping, overcame themselves in order to offer joy and warmth to the children. The place was decorated, Christmas specialties and desserts were prepared, gifts were exchanged. However, the children’s joy interfered with nostalgia for their homeland and their family.
“For Christians, Christmas is an important and happy day. Mostly New Year’s Day is a new part of life. Everyone is together and happy and they all grow and mature by another year”, says Amir, from Pakistan. “Personally, at Christmas I am sad because I miss my family. Every time everyone is happy I miss my family. I understand the spirit of Christmas a little, but I’m angry because I can not be with my family. Nevertheless, I feel love for the people. I would like to send gifts to my family, but I do not have the possibility and this makes me angry and very sad. I wish they could come. That’s what I’m asking…”.
Sami from Pakistan sought his family too during these days. “This Christmas that I’m in Greece I am always very sad. I miss my family. I want to be happy, but I can not. In Pakistan, during the holidays, 15 days before Christmas, we go to other cities and we sing until 4-5 in the morning. My village has 70 houses, of which only 20 are christian. Everybody is invited to a house and we all sing together and pray with the pastor. We cook poultry or goat stuffed as a “gift” to God. Here I am very sad, because I miss my family. But I remain joyful, because I was saved here. I have food, clothes, a home, school”.