We’ve all seen the pictures, the articles, and the stories that make us cringe. When we see something such as this war conflict occurring it’s common for people to turn away because it makes them uncomfortable. For some reason I happen to do the opposite. When I see someone in pain or suffering, my first instinct is to help. I think this is our natural instinct as human beings, but we’ve been programmed not to care.
I started to hear about the Syrian refugees when I was in Europe last year. I remember sitting in a cafe and seeing it on the news. Then I started to see coverage on the situation everywhere. By the time I was in Thailand it had become a huge issue with refugee camps in the north of France fighting for rights and borders being closed.
The moment I knew I needed to help was when I saw the viral photo of a young boy that had washed up on the shore in Turkey. You can see it Here. Then a few months ago the photo of a young boy sitting in an ambulance absolutely silent. He was so numb to the horror going on around him that even though there was blood dripping from his head, he didn’t cry once. I thought about my younger sister and how that could be her. You can see that photo Here.
I might not be able to stop the war, but the people who are surviving need help. They need safe passage, they need clothes, and food; but most of all they need to be reminded of their dignity. They need to be shown respect and love and that they matter.
I hope that by volunteering in Lesbos I will be able to put smiles on faces and spark a flame of hope in people’s hearts. Aside from impacting the refugees I hope to show people back home that it’s not a heroic act. I believe it should be normal to help when you see someone suffering. It should be normal to care for and love one another, no matter who they are.