No matter the distance both physically and mentally that we may have, people that may seem to be from completely different worlds are much more similar than we often think.
In this post, SB Espoir volunteer Diana-Alexandra Andrei explores the talent and personal expressions of the emotion via art of a young person displaced and adjusting to a new environment.
In the rush of everyday life, we often forget to celebrate the little (or big) things that people do. Crises, refugees, terrorism are always the three words kept in mind when we look at the actual situation of the world. This one side of the story is always emphasized in political, social and communicative spheres—but not today. Today, I will celebrate other people talents and strength.
This is the metaphor I would use in order to describe the activity in which we all engaged with the well-known fine arts in one of our workshops:
The moment I entered the center I felt a warm welcoming from the team working there. Afterwards, we were walking towards the activity room in order to prepare all the necessarily logistics. Meanwhile, a part of the volunteers went to gather the youth. Initially they were coming one by one and in the end more of them decided to join. What I could feel from the beginning of the activity was their joy when interacting with us. For the first part of our educational activity they were a little bit shy, but with the time they started to open themselves and socialize.
One person of the youth dragged my attention when he tried to interact by asking what I study. After giving a short and respectful reply he started to open up and tell me about his passion for medicine and math. Afterwards, he engaged even more in the conversation by describing me the way he wants to build up his future and how our activities help him relax and express himself. Hearing all of this, made me feel so blessed to be able to be part of SB OverSeas team, and in the same time I was highly surprised with the intelligence and perseverance of this young boy.
After having this pleasant discussion, I was focusing my attention on the paintings that each of the youth was making. Surprisingly, all of them had a drop of talent for this activity. It was fascinating to analyze how they express their emotions through art. Moreover, their level of concentration was almost 100% which is highly unusual for a group of teenagers, all of them boys. At that moment I could clearly see their determination to pursue education and connect with the broader world highlights, the persistence, intellect and tenacity shared by many youths.
To sum up this story of our activity, I would like to remind our readers one of the quotes of my favorite Lebanese writer- Kahlil Gibran, which says the following:
“To understand the heart and mind of a person, look not at what he has already achieved, but at what he aspires to.”
Want to support the activities and workshops we do with refugee youth in Belgium and have more testimonies like this? Join our team of volunteers