What do you want to be when you grow up?

by Celine Semaan Vernon

This post is via BuzzFeed

The United Nations has registered almost 4.6 million refugees from Syria since fighting broke out in the country several years ago. Of those, almost 2.4 million are 17 and under.

The International Rescue Committee recently sent photographer Meredith Hutchison to meet with young girls in two refugee camps in Jordan and ask them about their hopes and dreams.
The project, called Vision Not Victim, saw the girls draw pictures of what they want to be when they grew up, now that they have escaped war.
Each girl then participated in a photo shoot based on the drawings to pose as their grown-up selves. They were even given copies of the photos to show their families and keep with them as a reminder of their goals.
Here are some of the photos, along with words from the girls writing as their future selves:

Haja, 12, future astronaut

Meredith Hutchison/International Rescue Committee

“Ever since we studied the solar system in primary school, I have wanted to be an astronaut. I would imagine myself up in the sky discovering new things. I love being an astronaut because it lets me see the world from a new angle. In this society my path was not easy — many people told me a girl can’t become an astronaut. Now that I have achieved my goals, I would tell young girls with aspirations to not be afraid, to talk to their parents about what they want and why, to always be confident and know where you want to go.”

Rama, 13, future doctor

Meredith Hutchison/International Rescue Committee

“Walking down the street as a young girl in Syria or Jordan, I encountered many people suffering — sick or injured — and I always wanted to have the power and skills to help them. Now, as a great physician in my community, I have that ability. Easing someone’s pain is the most rewarding aspect of my job. To be able to give them relief and make them smile — this is what I love most.”

Muntaha, 12, future photographer

Meredith Hutchison/International Rescue Committee

“Since I was a young girl I loved taking people’s photographs. I loved going to different events and documenting what was happening — both the good and bad. Now, as a professional photographer I use my images to inspire hope in others — to encourage love and understanding.”

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