“In 2011 my world collapsed,” says Elissar. “From being a graduate of English literature in a university, and working for a big international company, I ended up without a home and in line for food.” The content of her talk will be surprisingly positive although she knows what suffering is. When she was forced to leave her old life behind, Elissar struggled to fit into a new world. Her hobbies are those of a regular young woman: dancing, reading, biking and walking. So when she saw people dancing in the streets of Venlo, she decided to join in. A few moments later she was taken by the hand and started building her first carnival truck. Enjoying the carnival in Venlo and the kindness of people around her, Elissard realized that she has the power to change her surroundings. And so, she wants to change the lives of a generation of youngsters whom will be the real change of future.

On one of the coldest days I went out because I was hungry. I went to a fisherman and asked for some kibbeling. He asked me where I was from. When I told him I ran from the war in my country he started talking to my in a louder voice: ‘Aha!’ You are coming to take our houses, my son has to wait many years for house. I apologized and ran away. I felt unsafe, smothering and I crumbled, being unable to breath. I couldn't tell the man who I was in my country. That I had a degree in English Literature and worked for a international company. That I have a loving and warm, which was torn apart by the war.

On another cold winter day, when the sun was shining bright, a man wearing a feather on his head smiled at me and invited me to dance with him. This festive turned out to be the carnaval. I danced with him and ended up building a wagon with a group of kind, generous and welcoming dutch people. Who’s acceptance enabled me to be reborn healthy.

Two different experiences, two different people and impact on my life and well being. This county is clearly divided on how to deal with war refugees. I understand it is hard and there are several reasons to be afraid. What impact do you want to have on the war refugees? Do you want them to be afraid, angry and mentally ill. Or do you want them to feel happy and welcome and contribute to society. Who do you want to be? The fisherman or the carnival people.

If refugees do not find acceptance, they will become an easy target for terrorist groups. Refugees can be a gain and not a drain. I want to Evolve and tell other to accept each other. I need your help. Let’s all hold hands, like the carnival people, and tell my story.