I will be traveling to Greece once again in February to continue to find ways that I can help to alleviate the suffering of the thousands upon thousands of people stranded there; displaced from their homes, separated from their families, and living (doing their best to survive) in cold, harsh, frustrating and lonely conditions.
I’ve traveled to Greece 10 times over the past year and a half to contribute through several organizations, and as an independent volunteer, befriending and doing what I can to assist families left to fend for themselves. On this trip I will be joining the Chios Eastern Shore Response Team (CESRT). It will be my first trip to the islands to witness the situation at the entry point that asylum seekers face upon their arrival in Greece.
The situation on the Islands at this time, according to multiple reports and organizations, is critical; arrivals continue, resources are exhausted, some organizations are pulling out, accommodations are insufficient, people are cold and hungry and fighting for their lives – for their humanity – every day.
I intend to arrive with as much of an arsenal of resources as I can…. Survival supplies: warm clothing, socks, underwear, toiletries, blankets, medicines, food, diapers, sanitary supplies, cash. I need your help to raise the funds.
My travel expenses, room and board will be (always have been) self-funded. Fortunately, and unfortunately, it is inexpensive to stay in Greece at this time. It has been my experience that the Greek people generously offer discounts and benefits to volunteers (although they really can’t afford to) to assist us with our expenses. All donations that I collect go directly to necessities of living for the residents, organizations with boots on the ground, and direct relief efforts.
Why Greece? Why now? Why me?
I’ve been asked many times over the past few years – when will I “land” and start my acupuncture practice. Those of you who know me remember that I survived the grind of 5 years of Chinese Medicine school (after completing several years of related studies in Ayurveda, Yoga and holistic nutrition) just prior to becoming involved in this relief effort.
“Isn’t this distracting you from your own life, your own goals?”
I’ve spent some time with this question – it’s a valid one – and feel very clear that I am a practicing healer. There are many ways to facilitate the flow of healthy Qi within ourselves and in the world. To bring nourishment where there is hunger, to elicit a sense calm where there is agitation, generate warmth where there is cold, free the flow of Qi where angst has created accumulation and illness – yes, this is what I’ve been trained for. To create fluid collaboration among organs and systems; ensure the proper flow of nutrients to tissues and organs; to facilitate harmony with nature and in human relationships – yes, exactly.
This is what I was taught to do in my many years studying and practicing natural medicine. On a micro-scale, this refers to healing bodies. Acupuncture needles, Yoga, Qi Gong, herbs, proper nourishment, stress management and rest are some of the tools and strategies that can accomplish these goals. Also essential for promoting life and vitality are warm clothes, shelter, basic nutrition, sanitary supplies, friendship, understanding, and love. On a macro-scale, relief work is an olive branch being extended to heal our injured human relationships, and to restore our appreciation for our shared vulnerability and humanity.
In my view, Greece represents an extremely volatile acupuncture point for the world at this moment in time; it is beckoning for our attention, critical resources, and love. The need and potential for healing bodies, transcending ignorance and restoring our relationship to our humanity in this place and this moment in time is extraordinary. There are many ways to re-direct and rejuvenate Qi, redistribute wealth, and restore health.
I choose to see the best in people, to cherish the opportunity for a global circle of friends, and to see the beauty and value in cultures unlike my own. I choose to believe in the goodness of humanity and the power of love. I prefer to see the whole world as my family.
If you share my vision, please consider a donation of any amount, or joining me on a relief mission in Greece.
Make a donation here, it only takes two minutes!
-by Jennifer M.
– Ed.: Jennifer is an author for Eindhoven News also and she wrote more articles on humanity, cooperation and well-being for our online paper.-