These stories will introduce you to refugees we worked with in the Greek camps. We are following their journey and to let them know they have not been forgotten.
SKT is a 44 year old with his wife and children from Afghanistan.
In Lesvos, Greece he was a translator with a medical NGO in the camp.
SKT has had many losses.
- His mother, a midwife, died when he was 12.
- His brother was killed by the Taliban
- His father was sent to Syria by the Iranian Army to fight ISIS. He has not heard from his father in over 10 years.
- SKT attended university and medical school in Afghanistan. The Taliban burned all education records so there is no way to verify his medical education. Without these documents he can no longer practice medicine.
SKT and his father moved to Iran. SKT married and had their children in Iran but they were all treated as non-persons. The children could not go to school. SKT did not have any rights, could not own property or even have a SIM card.
He knew they had to leave Iran so they went to Turkey where they paid smugglers to get them to Lesvos in November 2019. The children’s future has always been their priority and they knew they had to get to the Europe Union.
SKT worked with an attorney and after two years in Greece the family got asylum. It took one year to get legal documents. Even with asylum, the children were not allowed to attend school in Greece.
They left Greece for Germany. Immigration assigned them to a camp where they lived for eight months. Eventually, they were relocated to a village with limited access to services. They were provided a single family home in a safe neighborhood.
The children are able attend school for the first time in their lives. SKT and his wife are enrolled in German classes.
The children are making friends, even with the challenge of learning German. Their teachers say they are doing very well in their classes.
SKT knows his priority is for he and his wife to learn German. It is essential for him to be able to obtain a job. There are challenges they face such as language, employment, and finances to live in this area. The good news is their goal of receiving asylum in Germany has been met! They put up balloons in their living room to celebrate their residency permit which is anywhere from one to three years in Germany. They could not wait to tell us.
Tama and Cathy, Hands on Global, reporting from the road.