A little smile, a hug… today a little girl offered me a bunch of flowers she picked herself. That’s what it’s all about, let them feel they matter, that there allowed to be here ! That they’re welcome !
Marille Schilder :: Age 48 :: Netherlands
My name is Marielle Schilder. I have been living on Lesvos, Greece, since November .
I’m 48 years old and originally from the Netherlands. I have 2 daughters living and studying in Amsterdam and I have been going to Lesvos on holidays for the last 5 years.
Last summer I saw what was going on with all the refugees arriving by boats. In October I came back for 2 weeks to the north at the harbour of Molyvos. I did what I could, 24 hours a day…
Back in the Netherlands I realised I wanted to go back, for a longer period of time. I wanted to help a bit longer, to do what as strange as it may sound, makes me happy. Helping people who need help.
My employer in the Netherlands allowed me to take a sabbatical, so I could go and live on Lesvos. I started making pancakes for the children in Moria camp every day for 5 months. I was baking in the evenings and the next day I went to camp for distribution. Soon they started to recognise me and I became very popular.
The situation has changed on Lesvos now though, there are hardly any boats arriving any more and volunteers are not allowed to enter the camps since the EU deal with Turkey.
I have decided to travel to Idomeni. I plan on staying there for 2 weeks with my pancakes.
kids, being kids, they all love pancakes. I know I will not save the world with my pancakes, but I do add a little bit of joy and a lot of love while baking them and a little smile, a hug.
Today a little girl offered me a bunch of flowers she picked herself. That’s what it’s all about, let them feel they matter, that they are allowed to be here! That they’re welcome! Every morning I distribute, together with others, 4700 bananas, and after that I’m handing out my pancakes. And in the evening I prepare the pancakes for the next day. In my opinion this is the meaning of life, this is what I live for. For me this is the reason for my existence !
I cannot help everyone, but everyone can help someone.