Loads of questions

Erika Buggenhoudt

I just said goodbye to my kids (eight-year-old Ella and five-year-old Robbe) and my husband. The kids actually didn’t want me to go, and my husband surprised me with forget-me-not flowers on the breakfast table 😉 Like I would leave for an eternity. “Kids, it’s only for four nights. Mom will be back soon.”

Some of the refugee kids have lost their parents while fleeing their country. I wonder if they had the chance to say goodbye. Or even if they will ever see their parents again.

Forget-me-nots. Picture by Erika Buggenhoudt

Forget-me-nots. Picture by Erika Buggenhoudt

In the refugee camps where we will go, luckily most of the kids are still with their parents. I’ve read that 56% of the population of Azraq camp are kids. Being in a camp must have a huge impact on their daily lives. Are there schools? Playgrounds? Do kids get born there? Is there psychological help? Many questions pop up.

We asked all our colleagues to give us questions to ask the refugees. They could post these question cards on a wall for us, and now we’ve brought them here.

The questions of my colleagues before I left. Picture by  Erika Buggenhoudt

The questions of my colleagues before I left. Picture by Erika Buggenhoudt

Every one of us brought the questions from our own unit. We looked at them together and it shows that many people wonder what a day looks like for a refugee. Can you work? Can you go out to do your groceries? Do you have pets? How do you live there? How long do you stay in a camp?

Many questions also pop up in my head. Let’s try to find some answers. But first let’s try to get there.

Train, plane, taxi…today is a travel day. Our first introduction to Jordan and its capital, Amman, will be in the dark. But we’re ready! Picture by Ann Luyckx

Train, plane, taxi…today is a travel day. Our first introduction to Jordan and its capital, Amman, will be in the dark. But we’re ready! Picture by Ann Luyckx

 

 

 

Erika Buggenhoudt

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Erika Buggenhoudt

I am a Kitchen Sales co-worker at IKEA Ghent. I like to tell stories, that’s why I applied to be a part of the IWitness programme. With my background in social work, I’m interested in the stories of other people. And I am curious to learn about the work of UNHCR and the IKEA Foundation. I love writing, sewing and gardening and I wonder what the refugees’ hobbies are—and if they even have the opportunity to do hobbies.

More posts by Erika Buggenhoudt

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