A story of Hope fulfilled

B. didn’t choose to become a refugee. He didn’t choose to flee his native Aleppo in Syria in search of a safer place to find a future of hope and he certainly didn’t want to leave his family and make this journey alone. But this was B.’s reality for much of his childhood. 

A little over a year ago B. arrived at The Home Project in need of shelter and support. His story is one that no human should endure, let alone a teenager. One year after his arrival at our shelter in Athens, we are proud to call B. a Home Project happy ending. 

B. comes from a large Kurdish Syrian family in Aleppo, The devastation caused by the Civil War forced his family to flee. After several years in a refugee camp and B. in need of medical treatment after an accident involving his eye, he decided that it was best to reach Europe where he could get the treatment he needed. 

Like hundreds of thousands of people fleeing war, B. and his brother — both teenagers and without their parents, boarded a smuggler’s raft near Izmir, Turkey and made the trek across the nine-mile stretch to Lesvos. It was a dangerous journey— water flooded the raft that was overcrowded with almost 30 people. 

The raft full of people made its way to land and all inside were safe. 

B. was immediately arrested by local officials and placed in detention at the infamous Moria Camp, where conditions have been described as inhumane and particularly unsafe for children. B. and spent a month in Moria before being sent to The Home Project, where we assumed official guardianship. 

In addition to his eye condition, which had worsened from the horrific experience of the trip, as well as unsanitary conditions in the camp, B. had a leg injury, as well as emotional scars. 

Like all of the children at our shelters, we immediately embraced B. and welcomed him into our Home Project family, attending to his physical and psychological needs and making his integration in Greece as smooth as possible. Although his physical condition— particularly his eye damage, was a major concern to us, his spiritual and emotional well-being was paramount. 

Fast forward to August 2017— almost a year after B. arrived at The Home Project and after numerous surgeries on his eye that our staff facilitated at a private hospital, B. has been reunited with family in Germany. 

Tending to the needs of unaccompanied minors is the reason The Home Project was founded but if hope exists for our children to be reunited with family, this also becomes a  priority. Our team spent countless hours with government and legal teams to approve the relocation request and ensure that B. made it safely into the warm hug of his family in Germany.

B.’s story is a story of Hope fulfilled. 

B. was lucky. Most of the children in our shelters may never find their families again and for that reason, we remain resilient in our efforts to continue to Help, Overcome, Motivate and Empower them.

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