Meet Anas, the boy who overcame all his fears, in Kara Tepe

"He has a traumatising past but he doesn’t live there anymore"
“He has a traumatising past but he doesn’t live there anymore. Today, My Super Boy feels much better and is happier. Exactly how a child is supposed to live. You know, the moment you accept the past, there is no more need to change it”, told us the mother of Anas, a boy in Kara Tepe, who used to struggle with a post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
It all started in Moria. In September 2020. Following a fire, on the evening on September 8 that consumed most of Europe’s largest refugee camp. That fire left nearly 13,000 men, women and children without shelter or even access to basic needs.
Even after the family moved to Kara Tepe, Anas’s constant thoughts, memories and vivid nightmares of that fire caused him trouble sleeping, anxiety, a loss of interest in hobbies he once enjoyed with friends and moreso, difficulties trusting anyone around him. Even his family. Having been forced from his home - Syria - at the age of ten, Anas did not get the chance to enjoy his childhood neither back home nor on the shores of Lesvos where his family thought he’d be safer.
“What hurts the most is that Anas was such a smart boy. Wherever we stopped during our journey toward safety, he was able to learn fast. He was able to speak up to four languages and make friends”, said his father.
In November 2020, Anas was admitted to SPACES, an activity program developed for children with special needs. Back then, he was refusing to interact or speak with anyone.
They say “there is no bigger trauma than bearing an untold story in your heart”. For over a month, Anna, our special needs program coordinator, has been trying to make his acquaintance. Step by step, she was able to gain his trust so he feels more comfortable sharing his fears, his needs and his story. A story we all knew by heart but that he needed to tell. 
One day, the long awaited moment arrived. That day was a big day not only for Anas’s family but for the bigger family… The whole community in Kara Tepe. “Today, Anas came to the session by himself, happier than ever. He was smiling. He opened wide his arms asking for a hug. Or maybe wanting to give one”, said Anna.
Christos, our special sports coach reiterated, “in the very beginning, Anas was having a hard time adapting. He wouldn’t even attend the sessions without his father. Now he’s really closer to us, especially to Anna. He’s happy, he plays and runs and speaks with everyone around”.

Today Anas’s dream is to go back to school, study more languages - his passion - and find, with his family, a final destination they can call “home”. There, they would live happily ever after.

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