In conjunction with Theirworld, I spent six months training Syrian refugee children how to film. Through four powerful short films Asmah, Rojeen, Mustafah and Bassam, aged between 12 and 16, share the reality of their lives as refugee children living in Turkey. They highlight the injustice and dangers that can arise, including early marriage, teenage pregnancy, child labour and exploitation, when children in crisis situations are kept out of education. The project was published on various international media including The Huffington Post, Voice of America and Thomson Reuters Foundation.
Syrian refugee children document their lives on film for six months, highlighting the danger and exploitation they face because they’re not in school
Too Young for Marriage
Asmah, a young mother who was married off at 12-years-old and is now 15, has two children and is unable to attend school and fulfill her dream of being an art teacher. Asmah suffers from post-traumatic stress and often struggles to cope with the pressures of marrying early and taking care of her toddler and newborn, keeping them safe in an unfamiliar city. She hopes one day to return to education.
The Future Ahead of Me
Bassam, a 14-year-old Syrian refugee from Idlib. His father took the risky journey to Europe and is now settled in Vienna. Bassam stayed in Turkey with his mother and siblings, not seeing his father for two and a half years. Bassam dropped out of school when fleeing Syria, and has been unable to re-enroll in Turkey. Instead, he tends to his family's daily needs. The documentary follows Bassam’s journey to Vienna to be reunited with his father and return to education.
My Struggle is Theirs
12-year-old Mustafa tells his story of life as a Syrian refugee in the small town of Reyhanli. Mustafa works by collecting scrap to sell. He is very ashamed of his work and leaves home at 10pm to avoid being seen, making only £4 to $5.50 a day and leaving no time for schooling.
We Lost Everything
Syrian-Kurdish girl Rojin is 16, she fled Kobane to live in an informal settlement with other refugees in Turkey. The makeshift camps in the middle of nowhere have no electricity or proper washing facilities. In Syria, Rojin says she had a wonderful life, she went to school and won awards for being the best student. Life is now tough - she works very long hours, seven days a week in the nearby farm with the rest of her siblings and has to help her family in the evening. Rojin dreams of continuing her education and becoming a lawyer.