“You won’t change the world from your sofa”.
I was on Lesvos Island for one week on the Erasmus+ project “ThinkHuman”. The main topic was refugees’ crisis. 24 participants, 12 countries, 3 stages.
It’s not so easy for me to speak about the refugee crisis, because I have not so much experience in this field of work. It’s not so easy for me to discuss with people this topic, because I don’t have so much background information about the war in the Middle East and its causes. It’s not so easy for me to share with people my suggestions or thoughts, because they come from Jordan, Egypt, Turkey, Hungary, Macedonia, Sweden and they know what they are talking about. They were no stranger to the refugees’ crises in Europe.
BUT it’s worth it to come on Lesvos (on the island, where everything happened!). It’s worth it, to see it with your own eyes, how it looks like now, to talk with people from very different countries, with very different experiences in the social work field. It’s worth it to meet local people, who had helped and were active all this time, to hear personal stories of volunteers, who are active in refugee camps now. And most importantly for me their open mind in action.
I faced 23 participants, who had the same ideas, same ideals, same aspirations for their work and their life. Anyway I noticed, that our way to express, how we deal with everyday life challenges, is so different. I’ve never asked myself, how Sweden integrates this “huge” number of refugees, what people in Hungary think about a passing wave of refugees, why Arabic countries don’t take any active role in this population crisis? This project was a great possibility to meet people from 11 countries and ask them outright. How they deal with this situation? How their countries cope with refugees? This project is a chance for me to think about important things in a modern world and to look with another eye upon our world.
What can I say more about seminar’s details? I met a wonderful couple, Iannis and Daphne, who are already actively taking part in helping refugees since 2010. Their stories are live examples, how you can help people with big or small acts. They inspired not only me to be brave and act today and now! I visited the “Mosaik” support center and talked with her founder Efi Latsoudi. The center tries to cover the educational needs of refugees and support them in other social life fields. What I found most impressive, how the center tries to stay independent and concentrates on a qualitative social integration for refugees and local people also. On another day I talked with volunteers from Moria and Kara Tepe camps and asked them, why they’ve chosen Lesvos to work on, what their challenges are now and do they have still strength to “fight” for human rights every day. Their stories, stories of real people, touched my heart deeply. As the high point of discussions and talks on the seminar was a visit to Kara Pete camp. It was of course another feeling to observe all this people in real life and not from my laptop screen.
After the first part of the seminar I had so many questions in my head: What are you going to do about the refugee crisis? How do you want to do it? Which competence do you need for it? Which tools do you want to use? Can you offer something or do you have some ideas already to make the life of these people easier? What are you going to do about our world?
Maybe I don’t have all the answers yet, but I know that it’s hard to accept staying outside in this situation. I want to act! So let’s act! Let’s do something great together! After this seminar I can say, us participants, we can change the world together! We are so different and we have so much in common. We have so many ideas and we really have a lot to offer to the world! We want to Think Human and we want to Act Human!
We will do it in Athens and I can’t wait for it.