Volunteer Story: Lizzie

12 months since the demolition of the Calais ‘Jungle’, I felt an urge to return to the field.
The media tells us little, and when it does, the stories manage to effectively dehumanise the personal and social crises refugees face on an almost daily basis. Throughout the last year, sadly, I have found myself mediating refugees’ stories to the British citizens so detached from this unstoppable global migration, justifying and validating peoples claims for asylum and want for a better life.

IndiGO volunteers understood my drive to want to support the refugees standing in the shadows. Introduced to BelgrAids team in Subotica, I have begun to work to ensure that this refugee community receive effective protection this winter. Subotica’s Afghan and Pakistani community do not flinch at the thought of sleeping outside in lows of -20 this winter, yet, they continue to resemble a group commonly denounced as second-rate asylum seekers, unworthy of sanctuary in Europe.

When IndiGO placed me in Subotica, they knew that I was someone who would be challenged by the complexity of Serbia’s unforgiving and unenviable working context; a national government who, in the first six months of 2017, hadn’t offered asylum to one refugee. Serbia fail to recognise the many benefits that migration can bring, yet, immersed with ‘immigrants’ I find myself exposed to a multitude of life lessons that UK-European privilege cannot teach you. If Subotica is my school, this community, my teacher; resilience and perseverance is an everyday teaching. – Lizzie (indigo Volunteer)