Home News & Stories A farewell and retrospective for Leopold: “There were 22,000 people staying while there was room for 3,000.”

A farewell and retrospective for Leopold: “There were 22,000 people staying while there was room for 3,000.”

13 Oct

After his retirement, Leopold wanted to be there for people in need. So in 2018, he linked up with our organization as a volunteer medical advisor.

"We laughed and cried"

“During my time as a volunteer, I visited Lesvos eight times, of which my wife Threes accompanied me four times. My main task was to support the medical coordinator with all common medical questions. Threes volunteered as a host. That we went together was not only pleasant, but also good: we could share all our emotions with each other.

I experienced the most hectic period in camp Moria. There were 22,000 refugees, while there was only room for 3000. Every evening before the shift there were rows of people at the gate with very severe psychological problems, ranging from depression, suicide attempts to paranoia and other psychotic symptoms. Often these problems expressed themselves (also) in physical complaints.

Now that the ongoing medical matters on Lesvos are well organized and the missions in Poland and Moldova have come to an end, I am saying goodbye to the Boat Refugee Foundation (BRF)! It is a beautiful NGO with a wonderful team of staff and volunteers. What stays with me is the great atmosphere in the team on Lesvos, where there was no hierarchy at all. We finished the – often tough – job together. We laughed and cried, and trusted each other.”

Thank you!

“We are incredibly grateful to Leopold for sharing his precious free time with us and being so invaluable to people on the move,” says our director Annerieke. “In all this, we must not forget ‘his’ Threes, who was of indispensable value as a host in our volunteer house. Dear Leopold and Threes, our thanks are hard to express in words. You both have a place in our hearts!”

Thank you so much for your support, Leopold! On behalf of BRF, but also on the thousands of people on the move you have provided assistance! 


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