Press Release – Danish Refugee Council Youth (DFUNK)
Ten volunteers from the Danish Refugee Council Youth (DFUNK) are currently in Athens, holding a one-week photography workshop for refugees currently residing in the Greek capital. The photo project, titled “Facing Europe”, is aimed at giving refugees and asylum seekers the opportunity to voice their own stories, in order to restore the human faces of those people, who are hidden behind the statistics.
The situation for refugees in Greece has been critical for several years. Refugees of all ages sleep on the streets, since the Greek asylum-system doesn’t have the capacity to handle the large number of arriving refugees. Greece has, due to its geographical placement, received a large share of the refugees that arrive in Europe. Due to EU-legislation, many of the refugees who managed to reach other European countries from Greece were sent back, until this practice was stopped in 2011.
“The European Union – including Denmark – has a co-responsibility for the situation in Greece. In DFUNK, we’d like to see a large degree of solidarity in the European asylum policies. It is important that all of us take responsibility for the situation in Greece, and that we together do something for the many refugees, who live under horrible conditions. Often without the possibility of seeking asylum and moving on with their lives,” says Ella Sofie Samberg, political vice-chairwoman of DFUNK.
In ‘ROUTEless?’, a similar project previously arranged by DFUNK, unaccompanied minors at the Danish asylum-center Sjælsmark, were given a chance to tell about the life of asylum seekers through pictures and storytelling. Two of the participants in ‘ROUTEless?’ are now amongst the ten volunteers in ‘Facing Europe’. One of them, the 18 year old Mohammad from Afghanistan, came through Greece himself, as an unaccompanied minor. For him, ‘Facing Europe’ is a chance to give other young people a chance to be heard.
“My heart aches, when I think of the many people who are feeling bad and are now “stuck” in Greece and unable to move on with their lives. I’m feeling alright, now that I have come to Denmark and have been granted asylum, but there are many others, who aren’t feeling well and who are dying, during the process of fleeing,” says Mohammad and continues: “I will never forget my days in Greece and how hard it was. I hope that we, with the project, can help to make a difference by focusing on the problem in Greece, and by giving a voice to the young refugees.”
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