The book “My Friend!” is a project by Open Cultural Center that was created in the refugee camp of Cherso, to the north of Thessaloniki. With the words and drawings by children in the refugee camp, it explains the journey of refugees to arrive in Greece. Abdul, Elaf, Amar and Heva are some of the children who illustrated and explained their personal stories: their life in Syria, before and during the war, the journey to Europe, life in the camp in Greece and their dreams for the future.
The project aims to raise awareness and spread knowledge about the experience of thousands of refugees displaced by war for months and years, stuck in a present without solutions. Thousands of children have had their lives and education interrupted by war or violence. The book teaches us about the reality of these children, and helps us to understand that, despite living in such a different situation, their dreams and hopes are not so far removed from the dreams of our own children, siblings, nephews and nieces, and even those we used to have when we were younger! To be able to be with family, go to school, play with friends and imagine our future jobs.
As well as being a tool for raising awareness among the population, the book can be used as in schools to teach values such as inclusion, respect and tolerance towards other cultures.