"When we came to Moria, we could finally breathe"

More than 1,000 people are arriving every day to the Moria registration site on Lesvos, Greece. Many are families with small children. They have fought their way to the Turkish coast and crossed the Mediterranean Sea in small rubber boats.

"Until we came to Moria, we had no hope, but we were given clothes, food and a decent place to sleep – that gave us hope back," says 28-year-old Kamél.

She is from Afghanistan. Together with her husband and four children, she fled from their home three months ago. She says that both the Taliban and the Islamic State were advancing in their province, and therefore they saw no alternatives to flee with the children.

"One night the Taliban came to our house and wanted to take it away from us - they said that we could be allowed to stay in a single room. Therefore, we decided that we needed to flee with the children so they can get a peaceful life. We were afraid that they would become part of the Taliban and we could not live with that thought," says Kamél.

The flight has been long and hard. First they had to walk through the mountains of Iran and Turkey. After that they came to the uncertain journey across the Mediterranean in a rubber boat with 40 other Afghans - about half of them children.

"We fled with my three in-laws and my husband’s mother who has a brain injury, but we lost contact with them and do not know where they are. We were separated on the border between Iran and Turkey and haven’t been able to get in touch with them since. I just hope so much that we will find them again, "says Kamél.

It is all about the children

The boat took in a lot of water during the travel and the family feared, that it would sink. When they were rescued by the Greek coast guard and transported to Moria the children were completely soaked.  . At Moria they got new clothes and a dry and safe place to sleep. 

They are very grateful for having reached this point – and the assistance they received in Moria.

“Thanks to God, we are now completely safe. At times we didn’t think we would reach this point. Until now our fates have been in the hands of the smugglers, but when we came to Moria, we could finally breathe. Having reached this point has given usback  hope for a future," said Kamél.

They hope to give their children a good life. They want to learn the language of the place they end up and want to get jobs and provide for themselves. But the main thing is that the children are well.

"The children often asked 'when will we get to a place that we can call home?' We have lived in a country at war for 30 years, but enough was enough. We just want to be in a place where we can relax and call it a home. We have experienced so many bad things and our focus is for our children not to experience the same things," says Kamél.