While their parents’ faces are covered with lines of anxiety, a lot of refugee children coming to Europe are laughing in the face of what is perhaps one of the biggest humanitarian emergencies of this decade.
A universe away from their homes in war-torn countries like Syria and Afghanistan, these kids are the reason thousands of people are risking their lives to get in order to find a place to start a new life – a better life.
More than 300,000 people have crossed to Europe by sea so far this year and more than 2,600 have died doing so.
However, it was only after the images of Aylan Kurdi, the 3-year-old Syrian boy who washed up on a beach with his family trying to get to Turkey on a migrant boat, went viral the world finally realized the tragic reality of the crisis.
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Almost every day, hundreds of similar heart-rending images of refugee men, women and children are plastered over front pages of newspapers and websites. And though the crisis ought to be reported that way in order to shake the international community from criminal idleness, one should also not forget to show the other side of the story – the side where defiant smiles on small, tired faces are conquering all fears thereby providing a glimpse of hope.
Have a look:
Children gesture during a day of solidarity organized by local organizations and residents for asylum seekers at a makeshift camp outside the foreign office in Brussels, Belgium.
Kids being kids as make faces from behind a fence as a police officer walks past at the migrant reception center in Roszke, Hungary.
A young girl plays with a balloon as migrants board a train at the railway station in Nickelsdorf, Asutria.
Refugee children play with bubbles at Keleti railway station in Budapest, Hungary.
A child smiles as his family waits to board a train after crossing the Macedonian-Greek border near Gevgelija.
Kids pose for a photo as they wait to enter a camp for registration procedure after crossing the Macedonian-Greek border.
Two Syrian children laugh their sorrows away while cuddling a stuffed toy given by well-wishers after they arrived with a train from Budapest's Keleti station at the railway station of the airport in Frankfurt, Germany.
A volunteer plays with a little refugee girl near the town of Hegyeshalom, Hungary.
Boy smiles as he receives food from a helper at the railway station in Nickelsdorf.
Amid confrontation and chaos, a child finds time to play with a doll at the Keleti train station in Budapest.