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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.

26 Aug

One Happy Podcast #5

This Episode is all about the One Happy Family currency the ‘Drachma’.

What is Drachma? Where does this name come from?

Where can I use Drachma?

How many Drachmas do I need for a tea or a coffee? 

How does the new recycling idea for the café work?

How much costs a shampoo?

What do we have in our shop?

How many Drachmas do I need to play one round of Playstation Fifa?

Where do we actually issue the Drachma for the entire center?

Those and many more questions will be answered in this week’s Podcast.

And what would happen if the Drachma would take over the world financial market? As always a little comedy in the end to make you smile and let you digress into a fantasy world where Drachma rules the world 😁

15 Aug

One Happy Podcast #4

This episode is all about the volunteers. 

We chat with Sam, who volunteered in One Happy Family for 2 months. If you want to know how your time as a volunteer in OHF could look like, listen to Sam’s stories, experiences, laughter and statements.

We also asked Aimerance, who works in the Café how she feels about the volunteers who come and go all the time and how she feels sad and happy about that at the same time.

We will have a sneak peak into the pottery workshop, talking to Hugo and a short comedy dialog about the usual small talk with volunteers, that for sure will make you smile.

Enjoy and let us know about your own volunteer experiences!

07 Aug

One Happy Podcast #3

Sam, Zahra, Ali, Paul, Clara, Emilia, Mindy, Reza are helpers, volunteers and visitors of One Happy Family. In our 3rd Podcast we asked them what their favourite part of #OneHappyFamily is.

Primary health care, sort out medical histories, treat chronic illnesses and acute problems, assist in social and psychological problems; @DocMobile is doing a lot everyday. Listen to Lucia, one of their coordinators, and get more informations.

What is water? Do you know how important water is? – A short comedy to make you laugh in the end😀

What is your favourite part of One Happy Family?

Enjoy our new podcast and let us know what you think in the comments!

31 Jul

One Happy Podcast #2

One Happy Family would not be One Happy Family without our amazing helpers and volunteers from all over the world!

On today’s episode we meet the people who help and volunteer in our community centre. Listen which projects they are doing and hear them share some of their favourite memories of the place.

We hope you enjoy our new podcast!

Next week, we are launching a comedy episode. Stay tuned!

23 Jul

One Happy Podcast #1

After workshops, practise and dedication, we are happy to announce that our small radio team has now released the first episode of our new podcast show, “One Happy Podcast”.

“One Happy Podcast” is a new project which covers activities and stories from #OneHappyFamily. We look deep into the different activities and projects in the centre, as well hear stories from the inspiring guests we have amongst us daily.

Every Monday we share a new episode with a different theme.

This #FirstEpisode is an overview over who we are, what we do and what we stand for. Also one of our coordinators shares the story of One Happy Family and our guests express what the community center means for them.

Share and let us know what you think!

18 Jul

‘Kindness can go a long way’

Ashley and Jordan Johnsen

Living in the United States, Ashley and Jordan Johnsen know the refugee crises is a hot topic. But with Trump as their president, they say there is not a lot of information about displaced people. A reason to come to Lesvos to see the situation themselves.

‘Trump dominates our news cycle. And his administration does not really care about refugees. We wanted to come here, so we could share our experience with the world.

We knew it was going to be a difficult and emotional experience. But we did not realize that it also would be so enjoyable. These people have suffered and survived. And they continue to survive by living in terrible conditions. But despite all of this, they have such a positive attitude. We are amazed’.

We came to Lesvos, because …
‘We wanted to be able to interact with refugees. We could have sent money, but it was important for us to meet the people first hand. We believe that kindness can go a long way. The people we have met have suffered a lot. They are treated as numbers in the camps. We wanted to show them that there are people in the world who empathize with them on an equal base. We came here, because ‘just’ being kind to someone, can make a big difference’.

These were our tasks …
‘Ashley mainly worked in the woman house. This was interesting. A lot of the women cannot speak English. Most of them were also quite reserved. She would spent the whole day in there and eventually the women started to open up. Because communicating with them was difficult, we found different ways to interact with them. We danced, sewed, or drank tea together.

‘Jordan did a lot of activities with the children. It was wonderful to see that, once you are playing with them, a smile appears on their face. Still, it was heartbreaking to realize that they don’t know a life without worries. When they weren't  playing, they looked miserable. Their lives will never be the same as how it was before’.

This was our most memorable moment …
‘The intimate conversations with the people we have met sticked with us the most. Even though we are from totally different lives, we were still able to connect and share different experiences.

Ashley had a conversation with a woman about the hijab and what it means to be a muslim. In the beginning we had our ‘western thoughts’ about it. But to hear someone talk about their culture and their pride, really affected us. It changed the way we think about topics like these. This woman helped us understand why wearing a hijab is so important for her and why it is a source of pride. She helped us seeing it through new eyes’.

One Happy Family is …
A special and empowering place. This community center gives the people a sense of purpose. And this makes a difference. Refugees are trusted to do their tasks and no one is monitoring them to see what they are doing. They get back a bit of responsibility.  One Happy Family is also a safe place. The people can escape everything that is going on in their life for a while.

Besides this, this community center is a place full of love. Refugees here are so used to volunteers coming and going. You would expect that they are not so welcoming anymore. But the opposite is true. They really embrace you and let you in their heart. This is touching, but it also makes it much more harder to leave’.

Our message to other people …
It is hard to put this experience in to words. We want to encourage people to come here for themselves. You can hear about this in the news, and it may upset you, but you also distance yourself because that is there and you are here. When you visit Lesvos, you cannot distance yourself anymore. And this is important. People have to see this with their own eyes’.

Ashley Johnsen

Age: 30

Country:  United States of America

Occupation: Law student

Stay: 29 April - 13 May

Jordan Johsen

Age: 34

Country: United States of America

Occupation: Real Estate Developer

Stay: 29 April - 13 May

11 Jul

‘Refugees are not from a different planet’

Gaelle Dietrich

Gaelle Dietrich volunteers in a center for refugees in Germany. To learn more about what these people are going through, she decided to go to Lesvos. ‘I wanted to go a little bit further in the work I am doing. I felt the need to see where the people I work with have lived and what they’ve experienced. In Germany I wasn’t able to get fully confronted with this.’

‘When I heard about One Happy Family it sounded like a perfect place for me to work. There are many different activities and you also have the time to talk to the people. In this way you can understand the situation they are in much better.’

This is my most memorable moment…
‘What has impressed me is all the love and solidarity I’ve received. The name ‘One Happy Family’ is not just a brand mark, it is a reality. It is so easy to talk to people and to have a good and honest conversation. The trust they have in you is amazing. I met a boy who suddenly told me he missies his mother. That he opened up to me and told me something so personal really touched my heart.'

This struck me the most…
‘The refugees in this center have so much energy and are so joyful. But at the same time there is a lot of pain in the background.  You can see this when someone is sitting on their own and is thinking. Or when they tell you something personal.  There is a big contrast between joy and reality.  And there can be so much feelings in just one hour. This must be exhausting for them.’

One Happy Family is …
A world apart. A place where people can escape from life in camp Moria. It is surprising how calm and restful the people are here. Some adults are drawing flowers the whole day and are so peaceful in that moment. This is amazing to see. One Happy Family provides this place, where  people can express their feelings and relief the stress they are experiencing

This is what I would like to tell other people …
'I would like to tell the people who are living in Moria that I am proud of them. I am proud of their strength and their wish to stay alive at any price. Please continue in this way.

I would like to tell people who are living in other countries to visit Lesvos.
A lot of people think it is difficult to talk with refugees. But it is not. We are all humans and we can all communicate with each other. A lot of people are afraid of refugees and they don’t know how to deal with this. But when you visit this place, you will see that they are just like us. Human beings. They are not from a different planet.’

Age: 34

Country: Germany

Occupation: project manager

Stay: 20 April -22 May