Tell us a little about yourself:
My name is Molly Nixon. I’m from Nebraska and am 30 years old. I studied social work and Spanish in my undergrad at NAU, but more importantly I am trained in trauma-sensitive yoga. My life goal is to support genocide survivors and refugees with their basic life necessities, but also to support their healing journey through yoga and the arts.
How did you get involved with refugee work?
Before coming to Serres, I started as an independent volunteer providing emergency relief (boats arriving from Turkey, when the border closed, etc.). I also helped to set up a women's space in Istanbul for Syrian women.
What is your position at LHI?
I am the director of the LHI Refugee Center in Serres, Greece and other international projects and also a yoga and fitness teacher in Serres.
How did you get involved with the LHI Refugee Center?
I was inspired to work with Yazidi refugees and when the camp opened we knew we could help to fill the gaps. We started with more basic needs like food, water, and blankets, but quickly expanded the program to support the overall well-being of the camp residents. It has been amazing to work together with the camp residents to build the programs they value.
What does a typical day look like for you?
Sitting behind the computer, meeting with team members, hosting meetings, leading yoga and fitness classes, meeting partner orgs, making sure all of the pieces of the puzzle fit together!
What has been the most meaningful experience for you?
Sharing yoga with the Yazidis has been the most meaningful experience for me. Opening my eyes during classes to see them in states of deep relaxation brings warmth to my heart, inspiration to be a better me, and all the love I could ever need.
What have you learned over the last few years? How has your perspective changed?
Working with refugees over the past years has taught me so much about the world. People often ask how I have the strength to be in the field for such an extended period of time, but it is being in the field with refugees that actually gives me strength. The camp residents have survived a genocide, many of them have loved ones being held in ISIS captivity. I can relate with that pain after my dear friend was held by ISIS for years and later killed... Seeing them continue to live such lives of compassion, dignity, resilience inspires me in more ways than words can say. The residents lift me up, fill me with light, and inspire me to be a better me. I have learned to see the beauty in the little things, the light in darkness. As volunteers we receive just as much, if not more than we give. There is truly no where else in the world I would rather be.
Learn more about the LHI Refugee Center in Serres, Greece here!