The dream of Balqees from Somalia

After her graduation from Larnaca Technical School last night, a dream became a reality for the twenty-year-old Balqees from Somalia, who lives as a refugee in Cyprus.

“Today a dream I’ve always had become a reality. You might wonder how graduation from high school could be a dream, but for me it is – that would not be possible in my own country. After so many challenges, it is not a little thing that I graduate today and I can hope that I can study, “said Balqees, excitedly, with the classmates, teachers and parents of her classmates applauding her.

Balqees, having lost contact with her family in the wake of the war in Somalia, was forced to leave her country and seek for a safe place to live. Arriving in Cyprus five years ago, at the age of 15, she found herself alone and far from her family in a foreign country she knew nothing about – either language or culture. As an unaccompanied child, she lived on a shelter in Larnaca along with other unaccompanied asylum seekers. She began to attend afternoon classes and learn Greek, but she often felt herself loneliness and nostalgia for her family.

Once recognized as a refugee, Balqees began to hope again. Having already spotted her mother and her younger siblings, she as a recognized refugee could now apply for family reunification and hope that at some time they could live together again.

After approving her application for family reunification, her dream will soon become a reality – living with her mother and her brothers in Cyprus. Feeling the security of the refugee status and the relief that she would soon be back with her family, Balqees focused on her goal and pursued her dream for education.

With school’s support, she managed to cope with the challenges and graduate. Of course, her dream does not end here. Balqees ‘ next goal is to study and become a social worker.