Our Supporters on Site – Volunteer Sarah on Lesbos

Sarah's experience report about her foreign assignment on Lesbos. She travelled as a volunteer for STELP to support the Paréa Community Centre.

Our volunteer Sarah supported the Community Center Paréa in cooperation with our partners from Europe Cares during her assignment on Lesbos. In her field report, she reports from her own perspective from on site:

Do something good

Every single day was filled and fulfilled to the last. Why? Because I was actively doing something good and felt I was having a real impact instead of feeling run over by bad news at home.

… and suddenly everyone shouted: “Fire, fire, it’s burning again”.

One of three moments on Lesbos in which I lost the ground under my feet. Above the dismal, prison-like refugee camp Kara Tepe, the successor camp to Moria, a few 100 metres as the crow flies from our colourful Community Centre Paréa, you can see thick clouds of smoke and soon hear the fire brigade sirens.

While I have felt safe at every second on Lesbos, this is unfortunately not a very unusual and yet so life-threatening incident for the centre’s visitors – children, women, men, young, old, educated, sick, scared, curious, hopeful and loving people like you and me. People who, after a life-threatening crossing of the sea and often several illegal pushbacks back onto the water, endure months and often years of uncertainty in camps under terrible conditions, are not allowed to work and have to wait for a decision on their whereabouts.

Doing a lot with very little

For me, suffering has gained more than just a face here and I have noticed how I can already achieve a lot with very little. For me, it was a few weeks of my time that were filled with such incredible meaning – and with ease.

Whether it’s painting nails or henna tattoos in the Womenspace, stocking the new library, playing games, creating posters and social media content or cleaning common areas, in between turning up the music and putting a smile on people’s faces through exuberant dancing.

Whoever has the possibility & capacity and feels ready or is thinking about doing something like this – get in touch with STELP!

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