ONE DAY I WILL
Meet the dreams that will shape our future
“What do you want to be when you grow up?”
‘I come from Damassak in Nigeria. I would like to become a lawyer so I can defend peoples’ rights. I was born with disabilities, but I tend to forget about my handicap because I want to achieve my goal in life. I have been here for eight months now. I am happy here.’
These are the words of fourteen years old Aisha, answering photographer Vincent Tremeau who met her in Niger in a refugee camp. Aisha fled the terror group Boko Haram. Aisha was born without arms and legs. She is living in a refugee camp where she gave up on her home, yet never gave up her dreams to one day defend human rights - dreams that stand far above her physical disabilities and the tough journey to escape from the terrorist organization Boko Haram.
"One day I want to be a nurse. My father was sick with Ebola, nobody could take care of my father, only me. I had left home, somebody called me saying my father was not well, so I had to go there and watch him because nobody would go to my father, only I could. I tried my very best, but I didn’t succeed… My father is dead. Now I live with my auntie. That’s why I want to be a nurse: if I am a nurse I will cure my father and my mother and all other people I know. I will study hard and I will go to school, I will do science and math." Ramatu Bamana, fifteen years old from Sierra Leone answered photographer Tremeau. Ramatu fled from the deadly disease her country was hit, killing tens of thousands of people, leaving many orphans behind. World Health Organization reports that between the years of 2014-2016 Sierra Leone witnessed more than 14,000 cases, over 3,500 deaths. Among these people, Ramatu was determined to make a change for good.
"Daesh is destroying Iraq, so I want a job that lets me build it back again. I had my own bedroom in my old house, before it got burned down. These days, there are eleven of us in one tent. I don’t know if you have tried, but it is really hard to fit eleven people in one tent." Says Dina, eleven years old girl from Iraq, who dreams of bringing a better conditions to all. Dina was forced to leave her life behind. According to the UN, about 1.4 million people are internally displaced in Iraq, and the country is also home to more than 250,000 Syrian refugees. More than half of the refugees have been displaced for years. Insecurity, lack of employment opportunities, and destroyed or damaged housing and infrastructure prevent people from returning to their homes.
Today, many children dream of a life without war, without conflicts, forced circumstances. Children who live in a conflict zone where bombs explode every day, gunfire echoes in the streets, many give their last breath to diseases. Despite the constant danger, they cling to their dreams of future. One of these children was named Aisha. She was only fourteen years old but had seen more violence than most adults. Her house had been destroyed in a bombing, and she now lived in a crowded refugee camp with her family. Every night, she closed her eyes and dreamed of a world where she can reach her dreams without fear.
In her dream, she saw a vast green field with a bright blue sky above. There were trees and flowers everywhere, and the air was filled with the sound of laughter. In this world, there were no bombs, no guns, and no fear. She ran around the field with other children, playing tag and hide-and-seek. They chased each other, shouting and giggling, and their joy was infectious.
As Aisha woke up from her dream, she felt a sense of peace and hope. For a moment, she forgot about the war outside, and she smiled.
Another child named Dina had a similar dream. She was fifteen years old and lived in a different part of the conflict zone. She dreamed of a world where she could go to school without the fear of being kidnapped or attacked. In her dream, she saw herself sitting in a classroom with other children, listening to a kind teacher. They learned about history, math, and science, and they felt happy and safe.
When Dina woke up from her dream, she felt sad and frustrated. She knew that her dream was impossible in the current situation. She was displaced, living in a refugee camp and waiting for better conditions. She missed her friends and the routine of going to school. Her wish was to make her dream come true.
Despite their challenges, Dina, Aisha, Ramatu and many other children like them continued to dream. They believed in a better world, and they hoped that one day their dreams would become a reality. They knew that they couldn't give up, and they held on to the hope that the war would end, and they could finally live in peace and make their dreams come true. For a better future, for a promising world- a world like they do not experience.
And so, the children's dreams in the conflict zone become a symbol of hope and resilience. They remind everyone that even in the darkest of times, there is always a light that shines. Children who are forcibly displaced amid turmoil, war, diseases and pain have something to say and bring to this world, perhaps more than any of us.
Where do you want to be in shaping the dreams of our future?