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The Children of Harmanli

Thursday 21, November 2013

Since the civil war in Syrian began, over two million people have fled the violence. Many have made the journey to the European Union and have found sanctuary in countries like Germany and Sweden. But others are venturing into Europe by way of Bulgaria where officials struggle to accommodate and care for 8,000 asylum-seekers, many of whom are Syrian. Over one thousand of these desperate people, including 300 children, languish in an overcrowded camp at the town of Harmanli, located just 50 km from the Turkish-Bulgarian border. These asylum-seekers crossed this border with the hopes of starting a new life in Europe. Some have travelled in families; other men have come alone with dreams of reuniting with loved ones; and still others are children separated from parents. The sheer number of people in Harmanli alone is taxing the ability of officials to process them, let alone shelter and feed them.  And with winter coming, the children of Harmanli are running out of both time and hope.  This photo essay explores the daily tribulations of life in Harmanli.



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