Hoessein (10) Feels Empowered by TeamUp

Hoessein arrived in the Netherlands nearly a year ago - having escaped the horrors of Syria’s civil war. He frequently has to process intense memories - but he remains resilient. Hussein particularly enjoys taking part in TeamUp

Hoessein is ten years old and adjusting to his new home - an asylum seekers centre in the Netherlands. Hoessein undertook an arduous journey to escape the violence of his birthplace in Syria - and now he feels safe and happy. “All the people in the Netherlands have a beautiful heart,” he says.

Towards a better future

Hoessein’s father Ahmad was the first of the family to leave their original home in Idlib in search of safety - undertaking most of his journey to the Netherlands on foot. Family reunification procedures enabled the rest of the family to join him.

Ahmad’s greatest wish is that all his children can study and become part of Dutch society - but he is under no illusions about the difficulties they face. "The inhabited world is a long way from the asylum seekers centre,” he says. Hoessein looks at it from the bright sight: “But at least here I have my own bed. In Syria not."

Hoesseins vader Ahmad leert Nederlands, een moeilijke taal voor een vluchteling War Child, Team Up

Ahmad is studying to master the Dutch language and become part of Dutch society.

Photo: Michael Jessurun

De Syrische jongen Hoessein is gevlucht voor de oorlog in Syrië en verblijft nu in een azc in Nederland waar hij meedoet aan TeamUp

Hoessein proudly shows his own bed, something he was not used to in Syria.

Photo: Michael Jessurun

Processing emotions

Hoessein prefers not to talk about the things he experienced in Syria. TeamUp - our programme of sports and movement activities - provides a space where Hussein can instead express his emotions physically. “The children are very happy when they can go to a TeamUp session,” Ahmad says.

Als kind gevlucht voor de oorlog in Syrië kan Hoessein in Nederland niet wachten tot hij naar TeamUp mag,  om zijn nare herinneringen te verwerken

Hoessein profits a lot from the weekly TeamUp-sessions - his way to deal with his emotions.

Photo: Michael Jessurun

Temporary disruption

TeamUp group activities were temporarily postponed as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Initially children were denied the sense of structure and security TeamUp helps to provide - leading to an increase in stress and anxiety.

“Suddenly my son was locked up every day again,” Ahmad recalls. “Hoessein had no distractions and it brought back bad memories. The TeamUp activities always provided a distraction.”

Remote activities were developed to fill the gap - through the short videos and home exercises developed for the ‘TeamUp at Home’ programme. Regular group activities have now resumed - a welcome development for children like Hoessein.

New opportunity

After the restart Hoessein was one of the first children in line at the playing field where activities take place. He exclaimed: “I can play and dance with other children again!"

*All names in this story have been changed to preserve the safety of the children who take part in our programmes.

TeamUp is supported by the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF).Partners

Logo AMIF - Europese Unie fonds voor asiel, migratie en integratie - partner War Child

the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF)

The European Commission's Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund promotes the efficient management of migration flows and the implementation, strengthening and development of a common approach to asylum and immigration in the European Union.

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