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Finding Compassion and Joy in Nests

by Alise Shafer Ivey
March/April 2020
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Article Link: http://www.childcareexchange.com/article/finding-compassion-and-joy-in-nests/5025250/

*Photos can be found in the pdf version of this article.


He looked to be no more than 2 years old, a toddler really, doing what toddlers do: toddling. The wide gait, the unsteady, deliberate steps. If not for the full cup of hot coffee in his hands, I may not have noticed him amongst the crush of people.

Mohammed (name changed) plowed his way through the community center, a large warehouse-type building where refugees congregate during the day. It is a two-mile walk from Moria Refugee Camp, on the island of Lesvos, where 14,000 refugees await asylum in a camp built to house 2,000. No doubt he was brought there by his parents who were now taking care of business—haircuts, legal matters, mending clothes. His family is from Syria. There is a story, there always is, but this one was never told. For the moment, I construct a fictional but likely scenario: a young boy wandering alone in the community center, left to his own devices, thirsty, asking for a drink, and offered the only drink available—piping hot coffee.

Soon, a bigger story begins to unfold: the story of children who find themselves in the midst of adult problems, fending for themselves while ...

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