I kind of panicked on my first day on Lesvos when two boats arrived at the same time and hell broke lose on the beach … children crying and peolpe screaming at the top of their lungs for missing people. But I calmed down and managed to help an injured man looking for his wife.
Arthur Smith :: Student :: Germany :: Age 23
Niklas Golitschek :: Journalist :: Germany :: Age 22
Charly :: Germany :: Age 45
Fabian Winkler :: Photographer :: Germany :: Age 45
On image From Left to right
Why did you come and volunteer
- Charly: Because it´s necessary to help these People there don´t have any Help. Also i want a Society with much cultural Backgrounds. Kein Mensch ist illegal!
- Fabian: Because people were in need of help. And to quote Erich Kästner who said: “Es gibt nicht Gutes, außer: Man tut es!” – There’s nothing good: Unless one does it
- Niklas: Governments failed and still fail to coordinate the immigration of refugees, in order to guarantee a humane life. That’s the reason why I feel obligated to act and support these vulnerable people
- Arthur: Because I had time and energy.
What did you know about the place before arriving?
- Charly:Idomeni was not the first Place where i see fled People and how they “live”. But these Situation is the most inhuman one I till then has seen. however, I have expected this.
- Fabian: Of all the places we visited (Idomeni, Lesvos, Calais, Dunkirk and Slovenia) I knew a lot from the media … but every time I was there I said to myself: “No pictures in the world can translate what I saw … you have to see that for yourself.”
- Niklas: I’ve been to Idomeni in February, so I knew the places, organizations and structures onsite
- Arthur: I didn’t know much about the place. All the information I had I received was from TV and online (facebook and whatsapp)
When did you Arrive and for how long
- Charly:Four People from our Organisation “Signal of Solidarity” arrive at March 12 an stay for a Week.
- Fabian: In Idomeni we stayed for 8 days and we were a party of 4 persons.
- Niklas: Signal of Solidarity sent a team of four people from 14th to 19th March
- Arthur: February 2016 and March 2016 for one week each.
What reactions did you get from family and friends before coming
- Charly:They give me Respect for my Engagement
- Fabian: My wife and son are very much in favor of these trips and support this work in every way. My fahter is against it. Among friends I experienced different reactions. Some positive – many are uncertain what to make of my volunteering trips. As if it were something politics should deal with … not “unprofessional” volunteers.
- Arthur : The reactions were quiet different. It took me a while until my parents understood my motivation. But my friends were cool with that.
An influential / defining moment you had
- Charly:When I saw how many children there were this has made the situation for me even worse.
- Fabian: In general I am disappointed in the European Union. Though I am usually a big fan of the Union as an opposition to nationalistic ideas and thoughts I am very much disappointed in the Union in regards of the humanitarian crisis at hand.
- Niklas: There are too many partical moments (good and bad) to highlight one
What did you learn new about life and people
- Charly:There is solidarity between the Voluteers and the Refugees! We are all different, but we are all Humans and this is what connects us. This give me a little Hope for a better World.
- Fabian: Being grateful for what you have … small things do matter such as a roof over your head …
- Niklas: I guess it’s an ongoing process and it wouldn’t be enough to point out what I recognized so far. But I’m sure that people could live together in peace.
Do you remember anyone in particular among refugees or volunteers
- Charly: No, there are to much People
- Fabian: Killian Walley is a doctor and works for Lighthouse Relief … he made a lasting impression on me with his calm and soothing voice during his visits in the tents.
Have you experienced moments of crisis or trauma
- Fabian: I kind of panicked on my first day on Lesvos when two boats arrived at the same time and hell broke lose on the beach … children crying and peolpe screaming at the top of their lungs for missing people. But I calmed down and managed to help an injured man looking for his wife.
What are you taking with you back home
- Charly:It is properly and necessary to be helped. And this is measured my hatred on the European Governments.
- Niklas: There are plenty of individuals you have to leave behind, because you were granted the privilege to be born within the EU