By Franziska Fischer, PhD candidate, Political Science, University of Victoria
After dedicating most of my academic career intellectualizing and theorizing about migration flows and trying to understand and explain social, political and economic reactions to sudden influxes of people due to conflict or natural disasters I took the opportunity between my Master degree and my PhD to leave the books behind and spend some time working on the ground with the organization ‘Lifting Hands International’ in Greece in a Community Center and Accommodation for Refugees.
Perception of a situation is a powerful tool to create social reaction, and I hope a series of experience reports from different volunteers and first responders in Greece may assist in balancing an often fear driven narrative created by the media. The following experience reports are highly subjective and personal glimpses into a sphere of interaction between refugees and dedicated individuals, who have donated their time and energy to improve the often dire circumstances in the refugee camps in Greece.
My personal experience brought me to the northern Greek town Serres in early 2018.