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ASIS lecturers head to Lesbos: ‘I was ashamed of the hate-filled reactions to refugees’

Yvonne Janssen and Sandra Baaijens, lecturers at Avans School of International Studies (ASIS), will head to Lesbos this autumn to help refugees. ‘The refugee crisis made a deep impression on us.’

The lecturers will go to Lesbos from 13 to 21 October, representing the organization Because We Carry, where they will work with volunteers from around the world at the refugee camp Kara Tepe. ‘Instead of watching from the sidelines, we decided to get out there and help,’ explains Janssen.

Broken hearts

The desire to do something tangible was sparked by the growing crisis in Europe. ‘The refugee crises in Europe made a deep impression on us,’ Janssen says. ‘My heart broke when I read and heard about the thousands of men, women, and children who drowned in the Mediterranean in their quest for safety.’

‘Sandra will give yoga classes’

Janssen cannot understand the hatred and lack of understanding and compassion for people who leave their homes in search of a safer future. ‘I was ashamed of the hate-filled reactions to refugees,’ she says. ‘So Sandra and I started looking for constructive ways to put our compassion to use. We want to give refugees back their dignity. There are still people who spare a thought for them, despite the crisis no longer being headline news.’ According to the lecturer, there is an urgent need for help and attention. ‘We’ll offer practical help by handing out food, but also by arranging enjoyable activities. Sandra will give yoga classes and I plan to hold work-out sessions with the camp residents.’

Less talk, more action

The Because We Carry mission (‘less talk, more action’) appealed to the lecturers. They help refugees with everyday things, like cleaning and preparing meals. The Avans lecturers will head to Lesbos during the autumn break to join Team 157 as team captains, along with seven other volunteers.

As part of this charity, teams of volunteers head to Lesbos every week to help refugees. In addition to handing out necessities like food, tents, and dry clothes, the BWC teams also bring with them smiles, respect, and hope.

‘We would be eternally grateful if Avans students and staff could help’

Support Team 157 and the refugee camp

Want to support these ASIS lecturers? You can! The goal is to raise €8,000, which will be used to buy food, drink, and other basic necessities for the refugees at Kara Tepe.

‘We would be eternally grateful if Avans students and staff could help by making a financial donation to Team 157,’ says Janssen. Donations can be transferred to IBAN number NL75ABNA0484529730, in the name of Y.W.B. Janssen, quoting Because We Carry Team 157.

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