Antonis, it’s such a pleasure to have a chat with you, given your busy schedule with your DLL program! How did you initially hear about Movement On The Ground? What made you want to be a part of the Movement?
"How? By accident! [laughing] Well, Movement was looking for an IT teacher. A University lecturer here on Lesvos, reached out to me to see if I was interested. They offered me the position and I accepted it around 8 months ago because I wanted to help and know more from the situation from the refugees perspective. That was especially interesting to me because I am from Lesvos."
As a local on Lesvos, what are your thoughts on the refugee crisis in general?
"You know, I can understand the problem from both the refugees' perspective as well as the Lesvos locals.
The locals have, in general, been very welcoming but have also seen their island change. The thing that people need to remember, is that everyone involved actually wants the same thing: for the refugees to find a new home in Europe, and leave Lesvos. At this moment there sometimes is friction, because that's what happens when there are a lot of different people in the same area, but let's remember that we all want the same thing!"
Do you think Movement On The Ground is helping this issue, between the locals and refugees?
"I think Movement tries to build bridges between the two sides with the projects associated with Greek people, and also by hiring Greek people. This way, new relationships between new people and locals are created."