Bearing Witness

Sep 23, 2020

Earlier this month, the migrants and refugees on the Greek island of Lesbos were again homeless after fires, probably set out of desperation, destroyed Europe’s largest refugee camp, Moria, on the Greek island of Lesbos.  Moria, intended for 2,200, housed more than 12,000 people under horrible conditions that worsened when COVID-19 hit.

Myrto Xanthopoulou, a Tällberg Fellow traveler who helped organize our workshop on Lesbos in March, 2016, was on the island last week, bearing witness to the destruction. A small part of her experience is captured in this video.

The Tällberg Foundation continues to explore how mass human movement might evolve in a world where the drivers—climate, conflict and economics—are sure to intensify.  So far, our collective responses, as evidenced by the heartbreak on display in Lesbos, fall far short of what our shared humanity should demand—or, for that matter, how we would want to be treated if forced to flee our homes.

What do you think?  Can we do better?

Let us know what YOU think in the comments below.

Myrto Xanthopoulou is a Strategy Advisor on Philanthropy and Civil Society, with extensive experience in the field in Greece. She offers strategic advice services to non-profit entities and philanthropic foundations in areas of strategy planning, advocacy, restructuring, fundraising, project planning and implementation.

Have you listened to our podcast series, New Thinking for A New World? You might be interested in this episode with Cardinal Michael Czerny, who heads the Vatican’s work on refugees and migrants. In this conversation with host Alan Stoga, they discuss why we seem unable to work together to manage our common home. Hear their whole conversation HERE, or find us on a podcast platform of your choice  (Itunes,  SpotifyAcastStitcherLibsyn). 

1 Comment

  1. Eman Elbadawi

    Dear Myrto, my heart is totally with you for the pain you witnessed. As Samuel Taylor Coleridge puts it: ” He prays best who loves best all things both great and small for the Dear God who loves us He made and loves all”. As we are ordered to love all His creation we first have to love our fellow human beings. We must feel for one another. Then the day will come when last refugees are sheltered …


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