All of the images below are of youth, aged 15 to 18 years of age. They are minor unaccompanied asylum seekers and refugees.
They have travelled long distances alone, without their parents. Thousands of kilometres. They have fled home. Across land, oceans and deserts. Because home is not safe.
They are the brave ones.
Many have witnessed war crimes. The majority are living with memories of war. Several have lost loved ones at sea. Or to war crimes.
Some get to stay here. Others don’t, and are returned to their home countries.
Some of the unfortunate disappear. They go underground, elsewhere in Europe. They don’t want to go home.
Home is Afghanistan. Syria. Somalia. Eritrea. Ethiopia.
Need I say more?
They are waiting to find out whether they get a “positive” or a “negative”.
Meanwhile, we do our best to offer them a helping hand. A word of kindness. A conversation. Or even a hug. Hugs are popular.
All it takes is a little compassion, respect and understanding.
In the period April 2015 – August 2016 we have captured moments and experiences of minors living in an asylum reception centre in Norway.
The photographers are myself (not a professional), a 16-year-old girl from Syria (she is very good) and a professional one.
We would like to share these images with you.
They represent joy, hope, love, kindness, tolerance and respect. And peace.
If you get – give.
If you learn – teach.
Maya Angelou. RIP ♥