Refugee Crisis Medical Volunteer
Organized by: John Caron
I have once again started to raise funds and gather supplies for a return to provide medical assistance for the refugee crisis. For three weeks in November I worked in a refugee camp on Lesvos, Greece. It was one of the hardest, most rewarding and yet heartbreaking things I’ve ever done. When we started our clinic was sheltered on the bare ground in a tent better suited to shade a weekend cookout. During my time there thousands of refugees passed through this harsh transit camp. On our busiest days we cared for more than 150 patients. Everything from respiratory infections to wound care to trying to sort out complicated chronic illnesses and everything in between. The people we cared for have been through ordeals most of us can’t begin to comprehend. Scarred bodies and souls that will never heal. I witnessed the results of barbarous acts every day. On those same days I witnessed equally beautiful acts: An old man with pneumonia wrapped in a blanket and huddled over a tiny campfire offering me a piece of bread; people grateful for the smallest act of kindness; family reunions when it was feared they may never see each other again; a concerned person guiding us through the dark to a stranger they were worried about; an endless stream of refugees volunteering their time to translate for us.
I am currently raising funds and gathering supplies to travel to Turkey in March. This time I will be working with my son Thorin who is also a nurse. There are hundreds of thousands of refugees in Turkey. Some are awaiting their turn to make the dangerous crossing to Greece. The majority are unable to travel further because they cannot afford to pay the smugglers for passage across the Aegean Sea.
I want to take this opportunity to thank all the people who have already donated and helped support this work. Everyone working in Greece and Turkey is there as a volunteer, paying their own expenses and taking time off from paying jobs. Without a dedicated group of volunteers there would be hundreds of thousands of people with no access to healthcare. Thorin and I will be arriving in Turkey on March 1st and will work there for three weeks. Your support will aid in this endeavor.