Trudi (58): ‘I recognized people that I met in January and who are still in Moria’

We are grateful for every volunteer that wants to work for and with the refugees in the camp. It is extra special when we see volunteers coming back to Lesvos who have been volunteering here before. Social worker Trudi (58) took two weeks of from work last January to come and help and she is back!

While Greece is plagued by extreme cold, Trudie arrives for the first time on the island in January. ‘The weather conditions were terrible. On the first morning I opened the curtains and the whole island was covered in snow! It made a deep impression on me to see how the people in the camp were trying to survive in the cold while living in a tent. At the same time I was deeply moved by the way they were handling the situation. They still tried to have a chat with us or even offered us to drink tea with them. While, in my opinion, they should have been angry with us. How is it possible that this can exist in Europe?’

Thinking of Moria

Back in The Netherlands it becomes clear to Trudi that she wants to go back to Lesvos. ‘Together with all the volunteers you are a team. You feel that there are people for you when you need them. We take care of each other and we have fun together. But above all being in contact with the refugees gives me a lot of energy. The interest in each other creates equivalence. Drinking tea with them in their tent, being in contact like that. Hopefully that gives them a sense of dignity, because dignity has been taken from the so often already.’

No change

Ten months after her first visit to the camp the situation still looks the same. ‘I was shocked to see that it has not been getting better, but actually worse. And I even recognized people that I met in January and who are still in Moria. In the meantime I’ve been on a holiday, visited musea and have done so many nice things and they are still stuck here. It is so important that they feel that they are seen and heard. In that way we can make a difference and that is what the Boat Refugee Foundations tries. That approach appeals to me.’

‘I was shocked to see that it has not been getting better, but actually worse.’
As a volunteer in the PSS-team Trudi helps with different activities in and outside the camp. Last weekend she took three families outside the camp for a family getaway and Trudi helps a lot with our building project. With a group of people from the camp they are busy to finish the furniture for the new library.