One World. One Word: Volunteering on Lesvos

CAPACITY.

That's word I have for my experience working at the refugee camps on Lesvos, Greece.

How big is our capacity to serve as human beings?

How big is our capacity to love?

How big is our capacity to open our hearts to new ideas, new people, new cultures?

Family dinner with international volunteers from all around the world at Lighthourse Relief. 8 countries represented here. 

Family dinner with international volunteers from all around the world at Lighthourse Relief. 8 countries represented here. 

For my 4th week on Lesvos, I am joined by a fellow prolific broadcaster, Amrit Singh @MrASingh. It’s nice because I get to play tour guide, in additional to my eclectic mixed bag of roles: volunteer, broadcaster, humanitarian, journalist, activitist.

We are revisiting many of the sites that I’ve worked at in the last 3 weeks - Better Days For Moria, Lighthouse Relief, Pikpa, No Borders Kitchen - doing fresh interviews and publishing loads of content on social media.

LIFE ON LESVOS

Refugee boats have slowed down on this island because the coast guard has started picking up boats. NATO declared a ceasefire in Syria. From the Turkish side, we never quite know when the boats will come over or why the boats have slowed down. We never know how long these government policies will hold up, or if they are just a facade to send the volunteers away.

Volunteers are still arriving by the dozens, but right now there are more volunteers than refugees at the camps.

It makes one ask the question - is this helping?

Yes, there is still loads of work to be done. Loads of sorting, beach cleaning, organizing and coordinating but it’s not the same as the emotionally-charged boat landings seen in videos like this.

Still, I know by now that EVERY LITTLE BIT HELPS. If international volunteers were not the ones cleaning the beaches strewn with lifejackets and rubber boats, who would? Residents of the island would love for their beaches to return to their pristine condition - and so would I. But it also begs the question: will we forget?

At No Borders Kitchen Refugee Camp

At No Borders Kitchen Refugee Camp

Will we forget the plight of our brothers and sisters on this planet when we can no longer see them?

As the French government bulldozes 1000 people off the Calais Jungle in France, will be forget?

Will we forget that we have a responsibility to take care of humanity?

Being here on Lesvos, Greece, and seeing all of the people who have shown up to help, I have a little more faith in Humanity. I’ve seen the power of a few individuals to unlock the capacity for all of humanity to give.

Don’t be afraid to be the first one to show up to help. I promise you, others will join. (Including myself. Just PM me :)

Check out my latest Interview in the clothing distribution tent at No Borders Kitchen refugee camp with Pablo:https://katch.me/anitawinglee/v/7369ca23-57ef-3a64-9142-108926c354a8

All donations of every size are greatly welcomed. I will be taking all that we raise and finding the best way to use the funds in the coming days so that we can reach and help the most people possible.

Click here to donate to our Go Fund Me.

Infinite Love from Greece,

Anita xx