Greece: “I’m halfway to reaching my dreams”

By Georgia Trismpioti, IFRC

Somaya dreams of becoming a medical doctor and bringing relief to those who are suffering. Somaya and her family had to flee war-torn Afghanistan and sought refuge in Iran. She and her family have had a difficult life, but Somaya continues to chase her dreams of making a meaningful contribution to society.

Somaya and her husband fled their home country - war-torn Afghanistan - in search of safety. "I left Afghanistan because there was always a feeling of being unsafe,  anything could happen at any time," she says. ”For women in Afghanistan, there is no possibility for personal and professional growth.

Happy when helping others

In early March 2020, Somaya and her family arrived on the Greek island of Lesvos after enduring more than 12 hours at sea in an unmanned dinghy. Two weeks later they were transferred to the Malakasa refugee camp in mainland Greece.

It is not what you might expect when you hear the words ‘refugee camp’, but life here is a privilege compared to Lesvos. I’m halfway to reaching my dreams for a better life,” she says with a radiant smile.

Despite their uncertain situation, this optimistic and resilient woman is not one to sit idle. Somaya is volunteering as an interpreter with the Hellenic Red Cross at the Malakasa camp.

I want to help people and I’m happy when I am able to make people's life easier. It is gratifying work I’m doing here every day and when I sleep at nights I’m having sweet dreams,” Somaya says with a laugh.


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