Amina - math teacher, tailor, life and soul of Sindos camp.
Amina is the life and soul of the Sindos camp, tirelessly helping wherever she can. She used to give free math lessons in one of the two houses she owned in Syria. Now she teaches the children of Sindos in a school tent. She is also helping American doctors with a project that will support refugee children with war trauma, and in the afternoons she helps Sindos' taylor repair the camp's residents' sparse clothing. She does this free of charge of course, since none of her customers has any money.
“I used to give people free clothing when they couldn't afford any,” Amina remembers. “Now I have to beg for them.” Her repeated requests for warmer clothes for her sick 12-year old daughter have gone unanswered. “It's always tomorrow,” she says. “For seven months I asked and nobody listened. So now I've stopped asking.”
Amina, her five children and her husband had a happy, comfortable life in Syria before the war. When the violence escalated they fled with only the clothes on their backs.
“It is very difficult,” says Amina. “I feel so much agony when I think about my kids. Before, I could give them anything.”
One of her sons is autistic, which has made life in a refugee camp even more difficult for him. Her husband needs eye surgery and her eldest daughter is pregnant.
“It is very difficult for me to ask for things,” explains Amina. “I used to give to people who needed it. I never had to ask anyone for help before. I ask now because I need it not because I want. For my daughters, my son, my husband. Not for myself.”
An NGO in Sindos has offered to pay her for helping them with their work, but Amina has always refused their money.
“Helping people makes me feel good inside,” she says. “I'm proud of this.”
Amina and her family have been trapped in Greece for eight months. They don't know when they will be allowed to move on or where they will go.
Amina teaching math in the makeshift school tent at Sindos camp.