One of our trustees – Tom Doust – is currently in Athens, spending a couple of months teaching English at a refugee project called Ankaa. We are so fortunate as a charity to have volunteers who are prepared to help at the business end of the refugee crisis, and to send us reports about the realities of the situation there.
Tom is writing a blog about his experiences – linked here TOMINGREECE
Let me introduce you to Dom Ford: an ex-Borlase pupil who has recently finished a masters in Logistics at Cardiff University. Dom approached us with an interest in volunteering to help with humanitarian aid for refugees. We were able to introduce him to several possible volunteer groups across Europe. Dom has promised to keep us up to date with his experiences, and to let us know how we as a community may help and support the work he will be doing. This is his first blog …..
Where to go?
Just over a year ago, I decided that I wanted to build a career in humanitarian aid. I went back to university, studying a masters in logistics and operations management, and finished a fortnight ago. With not many paid opportunities in humanitarian aid, I accepted that I would have to volunteer with NGOs. The only question was, where?
I was first put in contact with Samos Volunteers through Marlow Refugee Action, but then I began to learn more. CESRT operates on Chios, responding 24/7 to all landings on the eastern shore of the island. The Refugee Community Kitchen makes somewhere between 1500 and 2500 meals a day to serve to refugees in Calais. In Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, there is only one NGO left providing support to both countries – the rest have been evicted by the governments. There are hundreds of NGOs operating all across Europe, all providing different services, but the end result is all the same; to help those that need it the most, who have been let down by everyone else, who have been failed by those that can help but have chosen not to.
I’m writing this in Marlow, two thousand miles away from Samos. I look at my window and don’t see how I could be further away from the crisis. Have I decided where and how to help? Not yet, but I know I will.
In collaboration with Coopers, Marlow Refugee Action are bringing Imad’s Syrian Kitchen popup experience to Marlow again. The meal is a mezze of 8 to 10 starters followed by 3 main courses and a dessert. Cooper’s bar will be selling wine and beer to accompany the meal.
Buy your tickets for 1st, 8th and 15th November now. The ticket price includes a £15 donation to Marlow Refugee Action.
Imad Alarnab is a chef and restaurateur from Damascus who was forced to leave and seek asylum in the UK. He left behind a successful business including several restaurants and juice bars.