Volunteer Spotlight: Anna, Serres Program

Anna P. is a jack of all trades at the LHI Refugee Center in Greece. Her German students are so lucky to learn from a skilled native German speaker in the morning, and the women enjoy her bright personality in the Female-Friendly Space in the afternoon. She’s also very involved in the women’s social enterprise Duzzi, training women in making wall hangings and overseeing sales on the website duzzi.org. At the end of the day, you’ll always find Anna making friends with everyone she meets, speaking Greece, or reading pretty hefty intellectual books!

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1. Tell us a little about yourself:
Hello I'm Anna, 23, from Germany. Before I came to Greece I finished my BA in anthropology in Leipzig.

2. What is your position at LHI?
I am involved with multiple programs in LHI. I teach German in the morning, I also work in the Female-Friendly Space in the afternoon. On top of that, I am one of the people on the ground for the Duzzi (wall hangings) social enterprise.

3. How and why did you get involved with LHI?
I really liked the opportunity to work so close with women. At that I appreciate LHI as an grassroots organization as it is still growing, and it values the work on an eye-to-eye level with the residents.

4. What is a typical day of working at LHI's Refugee Center like for you?
Every day is different here, but my typical day starts in the morning at 10 with my women’s German class. Afterwards when the weather is nice I usually stay on the field, help a bit with things like tiding the library or weeding the garden. In the afternoon I am helping with the program (arts and crafts, crocheting or games) in the Female-Friendly Space, which usually goes until 6.

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5. What has been your most rewarding experience working in Serres?
I think my most rewarding experience are the small simple moments of the everyday life here. Sometimes it is just a simple chat about food with the women, the curiosity of a toddler or the simple exchange of a hello in Kurmanji (“Bashee!”) on the way to the centre with some of the residents. As a teacher it is also amazing to see how eager to learn the students are, and how much progress my students already made since I came here.

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6. What have you learned since volunteering with LHI in Serres? Has your perspective on anything changed?
I learned a lot from the work with the Yazidi community. For example I learned that the simple things are sometimes so much more than we think they are and I developed a different sense of gratitude towards life and connecting to other humans now.

Find out more about volunteering at the LHI Refugee Center in Serres, Greece here!