Mr Yonous Muhammadi, President and Founder of the Greek Forum of Refugees, was awarded from the Child 10 organization on Tuesday, 21st of January for his work on child protection, in an honoring ceremony that took place in Malmo, Sweden . Along with Ms Sofia Kouvelaki, representing the HOME Project and Ms Nantina Tsekeri, representing the Greek Department of the Defence International for Children, Mr Yonous Muhammadi seized the opportunity to raise awareness over some very important issues.
Here’s what he said:
“We know that we cannot solve the problems, but we are trying to limit the consequences of them…Let me share my dream with you. It is a dream that one day there will be no need for awarding people for such activities in Europe. In the Europe of the 21st century, in the Europe of economic growth, in the Europe of the human rights values which are the central causes of making the Europe in the first place. I have a dream that one day we will have the institutions here, the governments that will receive awards for the job that they should do and we should be down and clapping for them. That’s my dream and it is the most important thing.
Me, as an asylum seeker, as a refugee – refugees are forced to leave their homelands – i came also to Greece. I am from Aghanistan, from a poor village and i have grown up in a warzone. I came a long journey of five (5) years. Seeking protection and finally i found myself in Greece. In Greece i’ve had difficult times, as i was sleeping in the park with thousands of other refugees and asylum seekers. But there was a question at that time: “How can we organize ourselves as communities, as parts of the European society as we were feeling the responsibility to share and to contribute in what is going on in the society. With my colleagues we started to organize the communities and finally the Greek Forum of Refugees was founded.
Now, i feel the responsibility of thanking my colleagues. Two heroes, two mothers. Despite their problems in the street, they were, always, with me and they were running every day. A mom from Afghanistan, Jasmine, she is here. And also, a mother from Syria, unfortunately she couldn’t come in here. Her daughter came and they need a clapping from us. They were beside me, helping the others in need of help.
This is the story of the Greek Forum of Refugees. The idea that refugees and migrants should not be considered only as receivers of help, as beneficiaries, but most important, as parts of the solutions and as parts of the society.
And all of us together, we need to go ahead for the most vulnerable parts of the society, which are the children”.
Here you can see the video from the Child 10 ceremony. Mr Muhammadi’s speech starts from 1:07:43.
We congratulate every 2020 awardee and we urge everyone to remain alerted and focused on our work, protecting and advocating for children’s rights.