A while ago, Driessen asked me to create a photo series for their book "Betekenisvol Werk" (translated: Meaningful Work) Finding the right theme and subject was challenging until I discussed the project with my mother.
After sharing my concerns, my mother told me that the following week, she would be celebrating the last day of school with the children in her language class. She works as an educational support assistant at a school where they teach Dutch language and culture to students from conflict zones. She and her colleagues provide guidance to these students, who often have no other support, especially when they first arrive here. My mother's classroom is like a microcosm of the world, with around twenty children from various backgrounds. Recently, Kamilla fled from Belarus in a rush, and Farzad escaped Kabul's chaos last year on one of the last planes out.
I attended the last day of school. The moment when the students spread their wings was emotional, not only for the children but also for their parents. Everyone was grateful, grateful for the renewed hope. Eritrean Yorkabel's father gave her flowers, and he hugged my mother. Yorkabel is going to high school and dreams of becoming a hairstylist, but her biggest dream is to leave the refugee center.
It was beautiful to see that all the children had dreams for their futures. Kamilla aspires to an artist's life, and Farzad wants to become a pilot if his aspirations to play for Ajax don't pan out. Sunday from Sudan wants to walk around in a doctor's coat, and her older sister Nyanyok hasn't decided yet, as long as she becomes famous and lives in New York. It doesn't matter how big or small their dreams are; they can become whatever they want. The students will each follow their own path, attend different schools, and pursue their dreams through education. The language class teachers have paved the way for them.