driven by the SAM-SAM playground
What is really hidden behind the word refugee? It is clear by the definition of the word, that a refugee is a person who is made or forced to leave his/her country or permanent residence and take refuge in a foreign country. Take refuge in a foreign, unfamiliar country, with the hope to live his/her life in a more peaceful way.
Refugees, regardless of their age, feel social isolation, loneliness, sadness, fear. They miss things, people, and places. The feeling of separation and loss cause them sorrow and mental pain. They mourn for everything they have left behind and this kind of separation is horrifying! They have the feeling of being uprooted and the lack of a supportive frame.
The ones who experience this more intensely are the children, who are deprived of anything that is taken for graded from other children. They are turned away or abandon their homes, their families, and their own innocence. They experience a traumatic past, an insecure present, and an uncertain future.
In Chios a serious effort is made to welcome refugees with the unreserved help of volunteers.
Initially, at the Municipal Garden of Chios and later at the Souda spot in the castle area, every Monday and Saturday, happy voices of children, laughter and songs are heard. In such moments these innocent children speak to the soul and give strength and hope. You can’t understand them, because you don’t speak the same language, but just one smile of them can be more powerful than anything else in the world! Around them, their parents or other adults are also claiming the right to become children again just for a while. They ask for a piece of paper to draw, forget themselves for a while or to depict what they have experienced in their own way.
Later that night or the next day, they will board on the big ship and leave to continue their journey. However, they will carry with them a welcome memory, a spark of carelessness and soul exultation which will accompany them and give them hope and strength.
The “Sam-Sam” playground consists of volunteers who try, using their own means, to give a note of happiness to these children. The Chios Mobile Mental Health Unit of Child and Adolescent’s Center aids this effort, taking part in this short, really quick break before this big and unknown journey.