For a year and a half now, Benjamin Gow has been a part of the refugee volunteering world. He began his journey in Lesvos, Greece, where he joined a Norwegian group to watch the waters between Turkey and Greece for refugees arriving on the beaches. He helped them in the water and out of their soaking clothes, assisting medics for those with hypothermia – sometimes something as simple as handing out bottled water. It was here that he discovered this was more than an experience, it was a calling.
After two months, and once the EU-Turkey deal was agreed, Benjamin decided to cross the waters himself to find out what there was on the side he had been watching for so long. It was here that he would take the next step in his journey.
In his year in Izmir working with “Refugee Volunteers of Izmir” he started a Micro-Loan project that helps Syrians to start their own businesses and begin building their own lives again, become independent and self-reliant. So far he has helped start two hairdressers, a barber, a bakery and sweet shop, and there are no signs of him stopping.
He also returns to the UK often to speak in schools and at events to spread his story and encourage others to get involved and help where they can, and to provide other opportunities to young adults who are looking for new choices other than university.