Melanie, 25 from Switzerland, student of Social Work, volunteered at One Happy Family for nine weeks.
Thank you Melanie for all your energy, happiness and your support!
This is my most memorable moment:
This is a question I can’t really answer. Every day is in its own way very exciting and interesting. It’s the daily encounters with all the different people that enrich each single day very much.
This struck me the most:
The whole situation on Lesvos. It’s different to see and feel the precarious situation of the people stuck on the island and forced to live here with your own eyes.
One Happy Family is…
A beautiful, safe and familiar place where everyone can meet at eye level and spend time together. The various subprojects offer the opportunity to be together and escape from the daily life in the refugee camp.
This is what I would like to tell other people:
The situation is difficult to describe because it’s very complex. However, I think that it’s important to know and realize that each small contribution from every single person counts.
My tasks in One Happy Family are…
I was active in many different tasks. Most of the time I was in the café or in the bank. I liked these two tasks very much, because I was in contact with many different visitors and sometimes I even had some time for a chat.
Besides the daily tasks I was responsible for the registration of the volunteers at the Municipality. Therefore I passed by the Municipality several times a week and got to knew the Greek way of dealing with administration.
What do you think makes One Happy Family different from other similar organizations?
For me, the cooperation between volunteers and helpers is one of the things that makes OHF unique. The different subprojects are managed jointly by the volunteers and helpers. In addition, the internal currency gives the visitors back a piece of self-determination.
What motivated you to stay longterm, to take over responsibility and why do you think it is important that volunteers stay for a long time?
Understanding certain contexts or processes takes some time. I am therefore glad that I was here at OHF for a longer period of time. After a few weeks I had a rough overview and was able to get involved in a different, more intense way.