Back in 2015, as UNICEF’s TV Manager, I worked on BBC documentary The Boy On The Bicycle which we filmed in the northeast of Jordan, about 7 miles from the Syrian border. The simple aim was to show a “child’s eye view” of life in Za’atari refugee camp – told entirely using children’s voices. The families we spent time with there certainly left a lasting impression on me, as I wrote in a personal blog to coincide with the broadcast of the film. The Boy On The Bicycle went on to win a number of awards, including a BAFTA, and all of us who were involved in it were incredibly pleased that audiences had responded so warmly to it.
This week, the sequel The Boy On the Bicycle – Two Years On shows what has happened to those kids we filmed with – two of them, Ahmed and Ali, are still in Za’atari whilst Ola has started a new life in Germany. These children’s stories are snapshots of what’s still happening to millions of kids, seven years on from the start of the war in Syria. Their warmth and resilience in the face of experiences most of us would be unable to fathom will stay with me forever.
If you’re in the UK, you can watch The Boy On The Bicycle – Two Years On now on BBC iPlayer.