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Nives has been a volunteer fieldworker for A Drop in the Ocean twice. First on Lesvos and currently in Nea Kavala. In this blog post, she shares her thoughts on what it is like to be a volunteer.

Magnus frivillig feltarbeider i Moria leir

A Drop in the Ocean has restarted our activities for unaccompanied minors in Moria refugee camp. Our coordinator, Magnus Svensson, describes an emotionally strong meeting with the children who have been missing activities for several weeks, and that there are even more children participating in our activities than before.

Norwegian artist, songwriter, and producer Gaute Ormåsen chose to travel to Greece with A Drop in the Ocean to contribute as a voluntary fieldworker, to experience the situation with his own eyes. The children made the biggest impact on Gaute, and after he became a parent himself, his compassion for refugees has grown immensely. Read more about Gaute’s experience as a voluntary fieldworker with A Drop in the Ocean here.

It is not easy to set aside time during your studies or work to travel as a fieldworker. Anne Stray Hamre and Celine Thomas Nicolaisen found a solution to this problem, by getting their fieldwork in Lesvos approved as part of the practical training as part of a module in their nursing programme. Excellent planning and approval from their place of study, they travelled to Lesvov in the autumn of 2018. Their stay resulted in a paper, which they called “How to create moments of normality for children in a refugee camp?”. Simultaneously, the students were given valuable and informative experiences, which they will cherish for the rest of their lives. Read more about their experiences and how they combined their fieldwork with their studies, down below.

“The effort of A Drop in the Ocean is a mere drop, but their work is incredibly important and well-organised. Keeping track of the logistics of us volunteers calls for good skills and leadership qualities. It went astonishingly well, with the patience and oversight of good leaders. The offer is wonderful, despite not reaching everyone in the camps. The social employment, language training, crafts, games, sports, and more are some of the foundation for creating hope. A drop helps.” – William Nygaard, previous editor and director of H. Aschehoug & CO, chairman of the Norwegian PEN, and voluntary fieldworker for A Drop in the Ocean.

“For me being a coordinator is about inspiring others to do good and have fun at the same time. It is spreading the message that the most important mission we have is to give love and hope to those who need it the most.” – Cláudia Sabença, former project and logistic coordinator for A Drop in the Ocean.

Having followed the refugee crisis since 2015, Jemma Moody had a desire to travel to Lesvos to help out. She is a trained social worker and has experience working with refugees and migrants in various parts of the world, including working with Syrian children in Istanbul. She regretted not signing up as a volunteer in 2015 and 2016. When she finally found A Drop in the Ocean, which has an extra focus on women and children, she decided to travel as a volunteer in November 2018. Below are her reflections from her time with us on Lesvos where, among other things, she contributed with English teaching and children’s activities at the Drop in the Ocean Drop-Center in Moria.

Suddenly my country feels like the Titanic tragedy. You find yourself in a dingy with 9 others, well aware the fact that it actually has room for 30 people. But, you refuse to go back, refuse to turn the boat around. Instead you end up sitting in the dingy while you hold your breath.