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26 Sep

‘’ We need to keep fighting for people’s human rights!‘’

Lily Peck, 27, agriculture/ plant sciences PhD student from England

For the past 5 weeks Lily has been working with us in One Happy Family for the second time this year. After this experience, she wants to raise more awareness in her home country. ‘’People think that the crisis here on Lesvos is over. It is not over and that is why we need to keep raising awareness in our home countries.’’

This is my most memorable moment…
‘’My most memorable moment is our day trip to the women’s festival in Eressos with a group of women from Moria. The women’s house in One Happy Family and it’s visitors had been working on making bags out of used clothes, including a wedding dress, and we sold those bags at the festival to raise money for the women’s house.
They told me that they loved the trip because they never really get out of Moria or Mytilini. We spend time swimming, eating lunch and hanging out in the sun, listening to music. When we dropped the women off at Moria, they told me that they wish they could turn back the clock to the start of the day so they could do this day all over again.’’

This struck me the most…
‘’The strength and the bravery of the helpers and the visitors in One Happy Family. I also worked with the women’s swimming class at Sport For Refugees. The strength and the bravery that these women showed by getting back into the water really amazed me. Mostly all of them have had a traumatic experience crossing over from Turkey. You can see that they are scared to get in and put their heads under water. But seeing them trying to overcome their fear and learning to swim was incredible’’

One Happy Family is…
‘’A utopian communist society where everyone is equal regardless of religion, status or age. Everyone here is treated fairly and with love and respect.’’

This is what I would like to tell other people…
‘’The crisis here is not over, even though it’s not in the media anymore. People are still arriving here, for example there were over 500 new arrivals in one weekend. We need to keep raising awareness and promoting the organisations that are trying to do their best to help out here on Lesvos. We need to keep fighting for people’s human rights, because they cannot do it themselves while they are stuck here. The people here are fleeing genuine persecution or danger and we should never forget that in Europe, where often the humanity is removed, and the situation here is seen as a problem. We have to keep raising awareness in our home countries.’’

My tasks in One Happy Family were…
‘’Supporting the 3 helpers, Sara, Zahra and Hanan, in the women’s house to make it a calm, peaceful and empowering environment. I introduced a new program while I was here, which includes key health advice from DocMobile once a week, legal advice and English classes.
As I told before I also helped out at Sport For Refugees with the swimming classes and the running classes. It was so good to help, support and engage young people to take them out of Moria and make them do physical excercises.’’

20 Sep

One Happy Podcast #8

This Episode is all about recording, editing and creating Radio.

We present you the Radio Lesvos workshop in One Happy Family, organised and led by the three amazing volunteers

Amelie, Clement and Adrien from Monobloc.

Amelie will explain what they wanted to achieve in their workshop, how it went, what participants learnt and why One Happy Family is a very interesting place to do workshops. 

Also two of the participants explain why they loved being part of the whole program, why it is important to be active and learn during the time people are on this island and what they actually learned in this short two weeks.

12 Sep

One Happy Podcast #7

This week we talk about how people deal with foreign languages and situations where they got misunderstood, had an awkward situation or laughed because of funny mistakes.

We will also introduce the professional skills workshop with Danielle and Cliff. What was important for them while they were here, how did people participate and what skills did they adopt?

In the end we will explain you some expressions and words that you can only understand when you are here in Lesvos. For example what does it mean, when you say: ‘Mobile phone Alibaba.’ 

Have fun listening and let us know what you think in the comments.

12 Sep

‘I didn’t know I could learn so much from other people in just a few weeks’

Anja Otth, 25, social work student from Switzerland

After working with refugees in Switzerland, Anja decided to come to Lesvos to see things from a different point of view. She wanted to see what the people here are going through so she could use this experience in her work in Switzerland. ‘Working here as a volunteer on Lesvos taught me to see things from another perspective. In my time on Lesvos I learned so much from the people that are here.’ 

 

This is my most memorable moment…
The thing that I really liked to do was the cleaning day. All the volunteers and helpers were working together to make One Happy Family even more beautiful! We started the day with some yoga to relax our minds and bodies and I really enjoyed this because it was also a kind of team-building thing. Days like this make the team grow even closer to each other.’

This struck me the most…
When I worked in Switzerland I had a very professional role so it was easier for me to keep my distance from the people. Being here, working as a volunteer so close with the people is different. I heard a lot of personal stories and the whole situation comes so close! When I talked with people who have been here for a long time, I heard many rough and touching stories. I knew living here was hard before I came here, but I didn’t realise how many things are actually going wrong here, on this island.
One moment that is really stuck in my mind, is my visit to the lifejacket graveyard and realising that the inside of the lifejackets actually suck up the water instead of making them float, because of the cheap quality.’ 

One Happy Family is…
‘A safe place were people can learn from each other and where people get the opportunity to use their skills and share this with others.’

This is what I would like to tell other people…
I think it would be good if everyone once experienced how it is to work here so they can see what is actually going on. For the 1,5 years that One Happy Family now exists I am so surprised by how it grew and how it is still growing and helping the people in such a positive way! I hope that more people will come here and spread the idea around so more places like this will appear.’

My tasks in One Happy Family were…

I was coordinating the adult school, the youth space and the guitar classes for the youth and the adults. I also helped out wherever my help was needed.