Through a refugee's eyes: Escaping my prison

Two young children at a stadium used by refugees for a friendly football match

There are 62,000 people who are currently living in Greece as refugees. It is easy to forget that every one of them is an individual. They all have a story to tell.

In Athens, Greece, CARE gave refugee women and girls a camera and some basic photography training – and invited them to record their stories. Rabia, aged 16, from Afghanistan, was one of them.

This is the story she wanted to share with you.

Hundreds of refugees live in this camp and we are always looking for a good excuse to get out of this place that feels like prison.

One day I woke up very early in the morning. My first thought was that I am still stuck here.

Inside a refugee camp sleeping area

But that day turned out to be a good day. Not only for me but for the others, too.

There was a football match taking place in the camp and it was a great way to spend some fun time. We all gathered around the court cheering for the teams.

Football match in Greece

We had a lot of fun and you could see that everyone watching the match enjoyed it. There were boys and girls, little children, mothers and fathers cheering for their favourite players.

Supporters at a refugee football match in Greece

When the match ended, I walked back to my tent and saw a man drawing. He was very talented and I felt jealous. I don’t know how to draw. I wish I could draw to express myself because I have so much to say.

I want to express how lonely I feel. I know all this might sound very sad to you but my life is sad and it’s not what I chose.

Hope and patience keep me going. I keep telling myself that soon this will be over. I wish for this every night.

About this story

This story is part of the Photography Project “Through Her Eyes” implemented by CARE Greece in collaboration with the Melissa Network, which set out to give you the opportunity to view urban life for refugee women and girls in Greece through their eyes. Five women and girls provide unique and personal insights into their daily lives through their photos. Their names have been changed for protection reasons. CARE provides emergency assistance to refugees stranded in Greece including cash, protection and accommodation. The project is funded by the European Commission.

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News and stories are provided by CARE staff working to support our emergency responses and long-term development programmes.