Have you ever felt lonely and that you are in a completely new world with a new language, new people and new traditions?


My name is Joudy Aldabbas. I recently became 18. I’m from Syria and to be more specifically from the city of Jasmine, Damascus.

I arrived in the UK about one and half years ago and I live in London. I came to the UK with my family to have the opportunity to live and to study as my country is in warfare.

I’m studying applied science plus doing GCSEs in maths and English at Westminster Kingsway College.


I volunteered with The Children’s Society when I first arrived in the UK and they were the great people who introduced me to the wonderful organization Coram. Recently, I became a volunteer with British Red Cross in First Aid logistics. And to be honest, I’m very proud to what I have achieved, learnt and gained since I came till now and how I fought the difficulties and the complications that I faced.

I am one of Coram’s Young Citizens. Who are we? We are an amazing, beautiful and incredible group of young people who work towards their dreams. We are equal.

We are working on a project learning how to take photos with the photographer Arteh Odjidja. Also, we are working towards an exhibition for Refugee Week.

We hope that our photos will show what young people do and will change people’s negative perceptions about us. People think that we only came to steal their lives and jobs. We came to live, to learn, to work and to help.

I have made some new friends in the project and have delightful relationships with them. Also, I have learnt new skills about taking and editing photos and learnt how to be confident about my purpose and what I really want.


I think that the photos we are taking will inspire other young people from refugee and migrant backgrounds by showing them what life can be and giving them hope.

Towards the end, I hope that all young citizens across the country will come and share these lovely and enjoyable moments with us.

Find out more about the Young Citizens project here: http://www.coram.org.uk/youngcitizens

Read more about Coram’s photography project with Arteh Odjija here: http://www.arteh.co.uk/the-stranger-series-with-coram

‘Joudy is part of the Young Citizens network, Coram’s ambassador programme for young people from migrant and refugee backgrounds. She is studying maths and English GCSE and applied science at Westminster Kingsway College. In the future she hopes to study nutrition at University and has dreams of travelling the world’.