Connecting local responses around the world
`This is us´, a refugee from Eritrea says after watching `The match of our lives`from the documentary project As You Open Your Eyes.
It is very quiet in the room in Amsterdam. The air is filled with the intensity of a laser sharp focus when we watch together the film of children in Mauritius - young boys who unite to pursue their shared dream of winning a soccer match. Where are their parents, we wonder when we don't see them cheering during the match ...
The majority of the young men and women watching the film are from Eritrea. They fled their home country when they were teenagers, like some of the children in the documentary film. In the room are also refugees from Yemen, Kurdisthan, Pakistan, Turkey and Syria.
'When you have a dream, you got to go for it, and realize it', Samiel from Kurdisthan says, 'even when you don't succeed the first time.'
Many people are laughing when someone recalls the social worker: 'What is her secret? She keeps smiling, despite setbacks.'
'She is always happy', someone else responds, 'because the boys make the village more beautiful. The boys pursue their dreams, and they give trust to the adults that they can also realize their dreams'
To speak in this large circle and then also speaking in Dutch, comes with shyness and giggles for some. And still.... they stay in the discomfort and listen attentively to each other. The desire to connect helps to overcome moments of embarrassment.
Thank you to David and Jessica, the documentary makers, for touching these young refugees' hearts who are looking for new dreams in a new country . . .
"Learn about the power of collaboration with SALT", it says on the poster.