Welcome friends! I’m a long term volunteer on the island of Lesvos trying to help out with this refugee crisis. So many people have so many questions about the whole situation; what’s happening? Why are people coming? How can I help? What’s it like volunteering? So I thought I should create a forum where these questions can be answered. I also envisage it to be a hub of information for volunteers and refugees. I’ll be publishing up to date route information in as many languages as possible and I will aim to post current information about borders and flashpoints and new rules and regulations which countries just seem to come up with on a total whim. I want this to be a place for discussion as well and cover topics like mental health issues with volunteering and burn out and also more difficult topics like legal avenues to counter state sanctioned human rights abuses and political solutions to the crisis.
Most of my experiences with the refugees have been in Lesvos and each region of Europe faces different challenges with regards to this crisis. There are some issues that are the same everywhere, but others that are quite unique to a particular area. I intend to travel more this year and aim to give a good overview of what’s happening Europe-wide.
I currently volunteer with the organisation, Starfish. Starfish looks after shipwreck victims that are brought in by the Greek coastguard and other search and rescue teams, work in the new IRC camp on Lesvos and are also involved with projects on the Afghan Hill in the registration camp at Moria. They do fantastic work and everyone should support them. However, I should point out that this resource is an independent one. All opinions expressed are definitely my own and do not reflect views or policies of Starfish. As this is my space on the internet, I should add that this site will not tolerate racism, sexism, basically anything that ends with -ism or -phobia. Comments like this will be deleted. I want debate to remain polite at all times. And remember, do not feed the trolls!
So I will sign off for now. If there are any issues that people would like me to write about, then please let me know and I’ll see what I can do. Best wishes to you all, especially those of you volunteering in this cold, horrible weather and the people who are risking their lives to reach Europe and a place of safety.