For us, our childhood memories are of the taste and smell of fritters made by our beloved grandmother. Or vegetable salad – the kind that no one in our adulthood could ever replicate again. What will the memories be for the children of the camp in Lesbos? Will it be some flat bread, eaten quickly after waiting for hours in the heat?
Eating together is not only about fulfilling the simplest need. It also builds family traditions and strengthens bonds. For the youngest family members, it also has unexpected effects: it enriches vocabulary more than bedtime reading. So is it any wonder that Katerina and Nikos from Lesbos put so much heart into their daily work of preparing meals for those most in need?
The essence of what they do is not simply to feed people. This, albeit in a very (very!) limited way, is available in the camp.
Katerina and Nikos bring humanity back to this activity.
Ailing people, women with children and the elderly do not have to stand in long queues, in the open sun, to receive a meal that constitutes the bare minimum of existence. Meals from Katerina and Nikos are served from the heart – from the kitchen straight into the hands of the people who need them most.
Sometimes meals are taken directly to a small container in the camp, which for some time must serve as a home for those who have fled violence and victimisation. Sometimes those in need are invited to Katerina and Nikos’ restaurant, which is open to all. Still warm, full of vegetables and care, the meals will become one of those memories for the children of the camp to which they will return regularly. Will the plate of vegetables be associated with home and safety? That is up to us and up to you.
If you can afford it, give these kids at least one such meal. Warm, full of vitamins and the goodness that Katerina and Nikos have in their hearts, creating a place they simply call Home.