Volunteer stories: Ingrid (Jul 16)
Am philosophising about what made me volunteer in refugee camp in Greece …
I just know the answer when I see the people from Syria here trying to keep a sense of normality despite everything and all the shit they’ve been through, still having no clue what the future holds:
Here they are, making tea, sitting together as a family, washing clothes, listening to music, women sweeping outside their tent, feeding their babies, scolding naughty kids, men playing cards, having a smoke with mates, fixing buggies, creating extra shade, checking their phones, and the kids always finding fun ways to play and showing off their basic English.
But oh my god they miss home, their place, their independence, their dignity, their friends, family, jobs, their former life.
To see the eyes light up when unexpected good things happen, like a new football, a second hand buggy, nana tea ( mint tea!), a Disney movie, an impromptu Syrian ‘disco’ for women only, or a funny hands & feet conversation…then…yes, I know the answer why I’m here.
I want to be in solidarity with these brave resilient people, show them my empathy and do anything to lift them out of this rotten, hopeless situation, even if it is just for a moment in time.
I feel so humble being here. My admiration and respect for the refugees grows day by day.
I want to fight against this huge injustice against humanity that’s happening right in front of my eyes.
So together with this great bunch of volunteers I throw myself into working in the warehouse and the shop, loading/ unloading vans, allocating buggies, cutting watermelons, stocking shelves, running errands, and dance away to Arabic music with the Syrian girls for an hour.
Just to make life a little bit more bearable and lighter.
For them, and in a way for me too, because wouldn’t life be pointless otherwise?