There is this boy. Alone. He seems lost. Playing with a trash bag. Kicking it back and forth. Concentrated. Distracted. Entertained? No one knows what exactly is going on in his mind. Only a few of us can imagine. Only a few of us can think about the burden he carries on his shoulders. The memories he has, the instances of his life he carries deeply inside him are hidden to the outer world. And I am sure that I, at least, can only imagine little of what he has been through. He’s about 12 years old and lives in a refugee camp. He only has once wish: he wants to go back, back to the streets he was raised, back to the country and place he belongs to. But he can’t and that’s why he tries to make the best out of the situation he is in. Kicking his trash bag back and forth.

Visiting the Rohingya refugee camp has been an impressive experience. The place and the whole energy behind it were indescribable. People having fled thousands of miles constructed themselves a life in the nowhere trying to make the best out of their situation, trying to have a better future for their families, trying to be secure and trying to be happy. Many of them are traumatized and I was impressed by how much impact a single simple game with the children or even a smile had. Just giving them attention, giving them love is sometimes all they need. Further, I also started interacting with the boy I mentioned above. Not being able to articulate myself well in Hindi, I wasn’t able to start a conversation with him, but sometimes all that matters are mimic and gesture. After dedicating him a few minutes he seemed overall happy and even proud. I am sure that he had fun, that he felt important and loved if even for an instance. It was an instance well spent. My experience taught me again that it is the small moments and actions in life that matter. Because, as an African saying quotes ‘Many small people, in many small places doing many small things, can change the face of this world’. And I firmly wish to be one of them.

– Emilia Klebanowski