1. Tell us a little about yourself:
My name is Hannah (25, from Germany). I have a master’s degree in psychology and would like to become a psychotherapist working in the field of humanitarian work. I previously spend three months in Ghana working in an orphanage and teaching children of all age levels basic English and Maths. Two years ago, I worked in a Yezidi only camp in Katzikas, Greece and now I have the opportunity to work with Yezidis again in Serres.
2. What is/was your position at LHI?
I am currently managing the CFS Program of LHI which means that I am responsible for creating activities for the 3-6 year old children together with my amazing team of volunteers.
3. How and why did you get involved with LHI?
LHI was one of many organizations that I found online when I decided to volunteer in Greece. They got back to me quickly and during the whole application process I already felt welcome and well informed. One important reason for me to work with LHI (even if that must sound a bit horrible) is that they actually pay their managers a small salary and cover the housing costs if you stay for a certain amount of time, which I think is a very sustainable approach because it guarantees that people can afford to stay long-term.
4. What is/was a typical day of working at the LHI Refugee Center like for you?
That is so difficult to describe in a few sentences, because no day looks like the other. Every day we provide activities for the children from 3 to 6 o’clock. These activities range from crafting, sportive activities and gardening to reading and writing, construction, role plays and sensory games. In addition to that I spend a lot of time in the mornings in team meetings, check-ins to make sure my volunteers are feeling good, shopping trips for materials and administrative work.
5. What has been your most rewarding experience working in Serres
Seeing an idea that you had in mind for the children working out is always such a rewarding moment for me. And even if we are not supposed to have favorite kids, a small boy that seems to be on the autistic spectrum makes my heart melt every single time I see him laugh and having a good time in our space.
6. What have you learned since volunteering with LHI in Serres? Has your perspective on anything changed?There is an endless list of things that I learned here. Apart from practical things during work it is learning that not only am I capable of being surrounded by the same group of people every day, work and live with them and have a very limited amount of privacy but that I really don’t mind it and on the contrary quite enjoy it. Working with Yezidis, who have been through so much, inevitably changes your perspective on your own live and on the priorities that you have. And also, being surrounded by truly inspiring people from all over the world who dedicate their time to helping refugees really broadened my horizon through interesting conversations that I would never have had in a different context and just the way they live their lives.
Find out more about the LHI Refugee Center in Serres, Greece HERE!