A few weeks after initiation of the autumn semester in AEP, one evening a little boy with a young girl came to AEP project venue. The young girl introduced herself as the little boy’s aunt and asked the staff to let the small boy, named Matin, attend computer and English classes.
She was told that the classes have already started and we could only register Matin for the next semester. At that moment the boy looked hopelessly to his aunt and his aunt burst into tears.
Matin has a very gloomy story. His family tried to migrate to Europe illegally from Iran and at the Turkey-Iran border all of the family members could cross the border but not the small Matin. There were shootings at the border and guards chased Matin’s family, so he was terrified and hid somewhere and lost his family!
Then he got back to Tehran with so many difficulties including long hours of walking, tolerating very cold weather, starving and in the face of other dangers. After he got to Tehran, he found his aunt’s house. His aunt wanted him to go to school again, but the school was so far away from her house and the schools nearby refused registering him. Matin was very depressed and he really needed involvements to be distracted from what had happened to him and also to be able to tolerate the trauma easier.
The staff registered Matin in the middle of the term and involved him at every outdoor events and indoor activities. We talked to the teachers to take his certain conditions into consideration. We made sure that he could finally talk to his family in Europe and gave him hope that he might be reunited with the family (we told him that the UNHCR might get him to his family if they are accepted as refugees in Europe).
We communicated the situation of Matin to the school near his aunt’s house and persuaded the school’s supervisor to register him at school. After a short while, Matin kept stepping into AEP project venue with a beautiful smile on his little face; smiles which have been truly rewarding to all AEP staff.
NOTE: To protect his identity, the photo is a representation of what that smile looks like, as seen on a fellow classmate.