Around the Web

Watch: Refugee children express their hopes and dreams in the heart-wrenching ‘Dream Diaries’

‘I would go back and kiss everything, really everything, also the bananas and the watermelons.’

Eleven-year-old Shoaib gave up his home in Afghanistan, but one thing remains with him – football. “Soccer is everything. I wish I could be the best soccer player in the world,” he says, in the video above.

Similarly, 15-year-old Amr, a refugee from Syria, dreams of being a reporter so he can tell the world the truth. Bishara, a 14-year-old from Somalia, wants to become a doctor to help people, while 10-year-old Ghazel simply wants to go to the moon and touch the clouds.

They are only a few of the millions of refugee children across the world, but The Dream Diaries, an online series (video above) by UNHCR, and social media influencers Humans of Amsterdam and Fetching_Tigerss, captures the hopes and dreams of a few refugee children who have found safety and new lives in Europe, to send out a message of hope.

“When children flee their home countries, they leave everything behind, except their hopes and dreams,” said Debra Barraud, co-creator of The Dream Diaries, and owner of the Humans of Amsterdam.

So Barraud, her colleague Benjamin Heertje, Annegien Schilling, who runs Fetching_Tigerss, and film-maker Kris Pouw set out on a 7,000-kilometre journey across Europe over the course of 16 days, to meet 12 refugee children. Their aim was not just to document their hopes and dreams in the film, but to create an image at the end of the project that symbolised their realisation.

“The general tone of pictures of people who are refugees is very sad and hopeless and almost depressing. I thought it was interesting that we created pictures that gave people hope,” said Schilling. One of the shots depicts Ayham, an eight-year-old who fled Syria, as a superhero, with lightning bolts pulsing from his fingers.

“I want to become a superhero so I don’t have to be afraid any more,” Ayham had told the Dream Diaries team. “I would end the fighting in Syria and then I would go back and kiss everything, really everything, also the bananas and the watermelons.”

Support our journalism by subscribing to Scroll+ here. We welcome your comments at letters@scroll.in.
Sponsored Content BY 

The cost of setting up an employee-friendly office in Mumbai

And a new age, cost-effective solution to common grievances.

A lot has been theorised about employee engagement and what motivates employees the most. Perks, bonuses and increased vacation time are the most common employee benefits extended to valuable employees. But experts say employees’ wellbeing is also intimately tied with the environment they spend the bulk of the day in. Indeed, the office environment has been found to affect employee productivity and ultimately retention.

According to Gensler’s Workplace Index, workplace design should allow employees to focus, collaborate, learn and socialise for maximum productivity, engagement and overall wellbeing. Most offices lag on the above counts, with complaints of rows of cluttered desks, cramped work tables and chilled cubicles still being way too common.

But well-meaning employers wanting to create a truly employee-centric office environment meet resistance at several stages. Renting an office space, for example, is an obstacle in itself, especially with exorbitant rental rates prevalent in most business districts. The office space then needs to be populated with, ideally, ergonomic furniture and fixtures. Even addressing common employee grievances is harder than one would imagine. It warrants a steady supply of office and pantry supplies, plus optimal Internet connection and functioning projection and sound systems. A well-thought-out workspace suddenly begins to sound quite cost prohibitive. So, how can an employer balance employee wellbeing with the monthly office budget?

Co-working spaces have emerged as a viable alternative to traditional workspaces. In addition to solving a lot of the common problems associated with them, the co-working format also takes care of the social and networking needs of businesses and their employees.

WeWork is a global network of workspaces, with 10 office spaces in India and many more opening this year. The co-working giant has taken great care to design all its premises ergonomically for maximum comfort. Its architects, engineers and artists have custom-designed every office space while prioritising natural light, comfort, productivity, and inspiration. Its members have access to super-fast Internet, multifunction printers, on-site community teams and free refreshments throughout the day. In addition, every WeWork office space has a dedicated community manager who is responsible for fostering a sense of community. WeWork’s customised offerings for enterprises also work out to be a more cost-effective solution than conventional lease setting, with the added perks of WeWork’s brand of service.

The video below presents the cost breakdown of maintaining an office space for 10 employees in Vikhroli, Mumbai and compares it with a WeWork membership.

Play

To know more about WeWork and its office spaces in India, click here.

This article was produced by Scroll marketing team on behalf of WeWork and not by the Scroll editorial team.