The Long Journey. The Lightless Sky
In 2018 we began to support the work of NGOs in Greece with refugees from areas torn by conflict - Iran, Afghanistan, Syria and several African countries.
In Greece, there are 3000 unaccompanied minors and only proper accommodation for about 1200.
Here we were able to support my daughter, Sarah, who has chosen to give up a successful career in PR and dedicate her life to serving others - big acts of kindness.
While our politicians argue about ......politics. While our great business leaders and academics focus their attention on economic growth and the ‘vital statistics’ which, they use to describe ’success’. These people - and the young Afghan boys we have been privileged to meet = have no home, no country, no education and precious little hope. Some of them left home at the age of 10 years old to work in Iran or Turkey when their fathers were killed in Afhanistan. Living in cages waiting for the people smugglers to move them on, walking across the mountains for 2-3 weeks at a time, hiding in trains or lorries to evade the border guards.....we can do very little but we will do what we can to help provide some hope.
Inspire Programme in Sindos, Greece
1st – 5th January 2020
Mentoring and Support - the boys who have moved on to Iceland, Germany, England and Luxembourg
The participants over the 5 days included 20-25 refugees of all ages, from 16 to 60 and from countries including Afghanistan, Syria, Iran and Iraq.
We introduced the concept of experiential learning as a foundation of the whole programme and of their lives in the future. Practising the art of learning and improving from each experience we have, are having and will have.
We introduced the concept or mindfulness, some practices and its many benefits; physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. How it can help us to be focused when we need to be, manage our emotions and deal better with conflict.
‘This has reminded me of how useful I found mindfulness in the camps. We must do more of this here’
‘I have found a new confidence from this practice’
‘Peter, the pain I have felt has gone. How did this happen’
We introduced a simple but comprehensive model planning, using the participants own success and failures to demonstrate the value of this approach in all aspects of life.
‘If I had used this planning on my journey here, I would have avoided 4 weeks in jail’
We introduced the principles of teamwork through the sport and other activivities. We explored ways that this approach might help them in their learning and in their lives.
‘The more we work as a team, the more we will achieve and succeed’.
If we play selfishly on the field, we will live selfishly and others will treat us the same way. We need to think of others – to pass the ball but also in life, to help each other’.