Moayed Saei used to live in Abadan, Iranian town near the border with Kuwait and Iraq. He led a happy life with his wife and their little baby, and they were comfortable in terms of their financial and housing situation. Moayed had his barber-hair salon, with regular, happy, returning customers. Due to the proximity of the Iraqi border, citizens of Abadan were constantly exposed to stress, but also to fear of the war activities in that country, as well as the sounds of shelling, bombs and other weapons. Fear for safety crept into Moayed too. His wife was scared too, especially for their child, and the life in fear also caused her psychological distress. Thus, urged on by his wife, Moayed packed his belongings and in March 2018, departed to Turkey.
“The accommodation and living conditions were good. But after a while, I realized that this country would be good for me only if I wanted to travel somewhere and be a tourist,“ says Moayed.
They decided to pursue their happiness in Serbia, where they stayed for a couple of months and Montenegro after that, where they intended to stay and live. Moayed even volunteered in the migrant camp, got to know a lot of local people who provided certain services to migrants, but his prospects to stay and provide for living in Montenegro were very limited. Moayed and his family proceeded to Bosnia and Herzegovina.
“We were in Bosnia and Herzegovina for a short time when I said to my wife – we will stay here for a while, because all Balkan countries are the same, in terms of conditions and security they offer. The advantage of Bosnia and Herzegovina are its people – here are the best people that we have met during our days on route. Most of them show exceptional empathy, they want to help others, because they too were once refugees”, points out Moayed, adding: “Although Bosnia and Herzegovina is one of the poorest countries in this part of Europe, it still does its best to help others.”
Moayed has been volunteering since day one in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Now, being an asylum seeker for almost a year he has a job and lives independantly in an apartment that he rents. Moayed has been lead by the feeling that he made a good choice and that everything will be alright for him and his family in Bosnia and Herzegovina. And indeed, everything went for the better. He volunteered in several organizations, gave free haircuts to migrants and his local colleagues, and then one of his friends was hired by the DRC Danish Refugee Council and told him that they needed more employees – they needed an interpreter for Farsi language.
"My colleagues in DRC are extremely professional, full of respect for others and different. I am really pleased with my life in Bosnia and Herzegovina”, emphasized Moayed, adding that there is a big difference between a minimum for life and a minimum for a normal life. He wants the latter, not just for his family, but for other people in similar situation to his, too.
Moayed is a part of the DRC BiH Protection Team, supporting Protection Officers in communicating with the persons of concern. The Protection Teams of DRC in BiH, supported by ECHO and UNHCR, provide assisstance to persons staying in Reception Centers in BiH, but also to those stranted across country. Moayed and Protection Teams ensure timely identification of vulnerable asylum seekers, refugees and migrants, and provide assisstance or appropriate referral. Moayed is one of the 13 Interpreters of DRC BiH, facilitating smooth communication with the beneficiaries and their access to health, protection, legal and other assisstance, as per need.
Mehrdad has been decorating the walls of Temporary Reception Center Bira since March 2019, making them come to life with graffiti and paintings, giving beauty and colour to the facility that is now shelter for him and more than 1500 other persons.
Ndaishimiye lives his wife and children in their house in Nduta Camp, Tanzania. Back in his country, Burundi, he was asked to teach children about the ruling party, but refused. As a consequence, he was jailed.
In 1997, Nicole fled Eritrea to avoid military conscription. Her story is a story of female empowerment and strength. Coming to a new country, Nicole had to overcome the challenges of being “othered” due to her birth name, Rahwa.
Mohammad started working at the age of 11 at the local pharmacy. That is how he earned the means for his education and managed to graduate the economics at the university. He learned a lot about medicines and developed an affection towards medicine – knowledge that turned out to be very useful.