Hold On


Nagisa, 4, holds onto her dad, Jamhsid. They left Afghanistan with family members and are staying in a park in Begrade, Serbia, hoping to join other family members in Germany.  

“The [Syrian refugee] crisis is shaping an entire generation of children,” Mark Smith, World Vision’s U.S. senior director of humanitarian affairs, told the Middle East and North African subcommittee of the House Foreign Affairs Committee at a hearing in October 2015.

Mark cited three factors harming Syrian children: chronic stress and fear stemming from their experience of violence, difficulty or inability to pursue education, and the need to contribute to family incomes through sometimes dangerous paid labor. 

Jamhsid’s concerns are more immediate: How is he to provide for her and keep her safe as they travel? It rained the night before and their tent leaked. He ran out in the rain and found some plastic to cover it, but everything was soaked. He hung clothes on a bush to dry, but the day was damp and gray and their things hadn’t dried.

With the Hungarian border closed, Jamhsid’s family was undecided what to do next. “I am not alone to take the decision to go or stay. But we cannot stay here much longer. It will be bad for the children,” he says. Jamhsid wants to advance his education in Germany and to earn a master’s degree there, then to work to provide a good life for his family. 

Photo©2015 World Vision, Laura Reinhardt

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