Belgrad

collaboration with Hot Food Idomeni

At the moment we are working together with Hot Food Idomeni in a kitchen for refugees in Belgrade.

There are so many people who are trying to live together side by side. People who help and get along with each other and everybody has their own stories.

Let's picture some of them!

Shah

Shah

Age: 24
Homeland: Pakistan
Profession:

I worked as a team leader in polio prevention and worked also part tim in a photo studio shop. Further I was a member of Peoples' Aman Committee.

Why are you here now?

The Taliban wanted that I quit my relation with the PAC. But I didn't agree with them, because I knew that I wasn't doing anything wrong. So from this time on my family and I got treated badly by the Taliban. They put a tremendous amount of pressure on us to quite my job in the comittee. They even blackmailed us. I was the only source to feed my family. And I knew there were people who were also in this comittee, wich got killed. And on the other hand, if I hadn't took part in this comitee, I would have been arrested from the local governement. Because of this dilemma I had to leave my country.

What are your dreams for the future?

To go back to a safe homeland and to see my family doing well.

max

Max

Age: 28
Homeland: New Zealand
Profession: Supervisor in a kitchen


Why are you here?

I came to Belgrade for holidays. I was staying at an hostel, where also a lot of volunteers from the camp are staying. They told me that they are cooking and distributing the food to refugees. So I joined them and I really enjoyed what we did. First I wanted to stay five days, now I have been here for four weeks.

Whats your wish  for the future?

That every country is going to be stabile enough that people can go back to their homelands. And that things are going to regulate.

What gives you hope:

Ah, definitely people who are doing something like "Hot Food" and help there where the state fails.

Hohal

Hohal

Age: 22
Homeland: Afghanistan
Profession: Medical student

Why are you here?

Because I had to leave Afghanistan. The IS entered my university and shot around. That's why I fled the country. Now I'm stuck here in Belgrade and can't move to somewhere else because the borders are blocked. That's why I have to stay here.

What are your dreams for the future?

I want to go to France or any country which gives me the chance to finish my studies. I want to become a doctor.

What gives you hope?

believe in humanity. That gives me hope.

cousins

Saddahudin & Yasir (cousins)

Age: 26 & 25
Homeland: Pakistan
Profession: Gas station employee & taxi driver

Why are you here?

We lived in the same little village, wich was terrorised by the Taliban. They threatened men with death to join them. So we had to flee.

What are your dreams for the future?

We want to go to Italy. We want to start a new life  there and we want to bring our families.

What gives you hope?

We are looking forward to the future. That gives us hope.

christoph

Christoph

Age: 23
Homeland: Switzerland
Profession: Daydreamer

Why are you here?

I'm here to help. I want to make things better than they are now.

What are your dreams for the future?

I want to live in a world, where there is no violence. I imagine a world where there are no more reasons to flee.

What gives you hope?

All these nice people here, who are from all over the world.

pedro

Pedro

Age: 28
Homeland: USA
Profession: Chef

Why you are here?

I'm here because I enjoy making food for people and I was determined to volunteer with refugees since I've been in Europe for a while. I'd heard about hot food idomeni doing work in Belgrade and was looking for something to do after volunteering in Greece before this, also working in a kitchen, I feel like cooking is my calling and it's a way for me to use my skills to help people struggling in their life journey right now looking for something better. It feels natural to be helping people, especially because they are everyday people with the misfortune of coming from places that are difficult right now.

Whats your wish  for the future?

That people can one day return to a peaceful homeland. Many Syrians I met in Greece just wanted to go home and live in peace, but at this point it's not even close to what it used to be in their homeland. Lots of refugees recount how beautiful their countries were. But also that more countries in the west become more accepting of other people. I'm especially despondent at what is happening in the USA right now given we are a country of immigrants, the melting pot, but people are looking past that now. refugees are largely labeled not from personal experience but what they hear/see in the news from ignorant people. I wish for more acceptance, and empathy for our brothers and sisters that are struggling on their journey to Europe and beyond. I hope my country brings more refugees to its shores but it's not looking promising right now

What gives you hope?

Seeing the resilience in people trying to make the most of their situation and the hope they continue to hold that it will find something better. It is a difficult path, but the generosity and kindness that refugees show is astounding. Seeing the kindness, intelligence and brotherhood in people gives me hope that maybe other countries will some day come around to seeing it as well and realizing the potential refugees have. They aren't all stupid poor people, there are some extremely smart and skilled individuals that would make any country they are in better provided the opportunity. Also it gives me hope meeting amazing volunteers, that there are people who really care and make sacrifices and pour their hearts into helping others in desperate times right now. And that many of the refugees can still smile, it is wonderful to see.

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