Medical Coordinator
    Athens 2022

    My first experience with MVI started as a volunteer doctor in Athens in autumn 2021. A few months
    later, I helped setting up MVI’s new healthcare project in Serbia for people on the move (POM). It
    was appalling to see that there was a substantial lack of appropriate care and support for refugees,
    asylum seekers and homeless people even in Europe. MVI and its partners helped to fill these gaps
    and supported people with limited access to the system far beyond basic medical assistance.
    Not long after, I decided that I want to become a bigger and continuous part of MVI. First, I joined
    the team in Thessaloniki as the medical coordinator and later on in Athens. Here, we support people
    in different legal situations and possibilities to access medical assistance, following MVI’s vision that
    “health care is a human right”.

    Since this summer, I have been working as the medical coordinator for MVI Athens.


    Mental Health Support
    Lesbos 2022

    I had been thinking for a while about going abroad for a short time after my studies in order to fill my wealth of experience even further. I kept hearing about the situation of refugees in the news and wondered if and how I could actively support them. Through social contacts, I was made aware of MVI and decided to gather my experience on Lesbos.

    On Lesvos, mental health support is offered for parents and their children. My main task during the six weeks was to make offers for children and to support them in verbalizing their feelings and worries. There is the possibility to go to a play room with small children. With the material available, it was possible to offer a variety of methods. For example, I read out relaxation stories, did breathing exercises or massages to give the children ideas about what would be a suitable method for them when they notice that they are tense, for example. By playing together, children can get to know each other and establish contact more quickly.

    There are daily team meetings in which we reflect on what the parents have said about their child and what behaviour I have observed in the children. Based on this, we considered together which activities might be suitable for individual children.


    Athens 2022

    In 2019, I “discovered” the organization Medical Volunteers International for myself.

    Since 2015, I have been working in Augsburg/Germany with refugees in initial reception facilities/anchoring centers and in family practice. I wanted to see the catastrophic conditions on the Greek island of Lesbos with my own eyes and do my part to care for the disregarded people.

    So, since 2019, I have volunteered once a year for 3 to 6 weeks of outreach with MVI in Lesvos and most recently in Athens.

    As an older general practitioner with a naturopathic background, it is relatively easy for me to cope with the lack of high-tech medicine. The only thing that counts is the person with his or her worries and needs, and in addition to general medicine, we also did a lot of psychosocial work; we also had to deal with severe trauma. It was not always easy to look to the future with confidence.

    However, despite all the adversities that the refugees face, the work is incredibly fulfilling. I have learned intercultural understanding, often communicating without many words. The gratitude of the people accompanies me to this day, many contacts remained.

    Not to forget the wonderful atmosphere among the volunteers.

    I will remain loyal to MVI and am already thinking about a mission in the Balkans. I would also be happy to present MVI during fundraising campaigns so that the work can continue to be financed.

    I have already worked several times for MVI as a general doctor in Lesbos and Athens.

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