Vancouver Island Woman Volunteers in Greece to Help Refugees

refugeesMelie DeChamplain, a nurse from Vancouver Island, Canada, has traveled to Lesbos is order help the thousands of refugees arriving daily on the Greek island. DeChamplain is part of the Lighthouse Relief organization and has traveled in several disaster zones, where she puts her medical training to use.

“Our work is really to identify and go from one person to the other and see which ones are the most vulnerable,” DeChamplain said to CBC. “We try to identify the ones that are injured, hypothermic, in shock and we bring as many as we can into the clinic.”

“Mothers and children that are telling me that their houses have been bombed, and they lost their husband or that their husband has been taken by the Taliban and they need to run away.”

The Canadian volunteer stressed that it is important to understand the danger these refugees faced in their countries. She also noted her concern about the life jackets that they use when crossing from Turkey to Greece. “The life jackets — they don’t float —they’ve been made with the wrappers, you know the wrappers for the computers, so when you open the life jacket, you see that they are not made to float,” she said.

DeClamplain is scheduled to return to Canada in a few days, however she is planning on continuing the effort to help refugees. “I think we need to find a way that we can possibly register refugees directly in Turkey so they don’t need to take the boat so they can have a safe migration to a host country,” she said.