Help unaccompanied minors in Greece

My name is McKenzie Szarmach and I am a 21 year old college student in New York. I will be travelling to Lesvos, Greece on July 12 for approximately 5 weeks. I have been accepted to volunteer with METAdrasi in the transit accommodation facility for unaccompanied minors.

Everyday, hundreds of people are fleeing their war torn countries in search of a better life. They have left behind everything, so desperate for safety that they are risking passage on dangerous seas. They arrive in Greece only to spend months in refugee camps that closely resemble concentration camps, experiencing what must feel like endless hunger.

The goal of METAdrasi is to minimize and ideally eliminate the time spent by minors in juvenile detention centers. These children await official authorization/documentation that will allow the team to escort them to one of the Permanent Hospitality Centers for Unaccompanied Minors that exist throughout Greece. This action also contributes substantially to the protection of minors against networks of smugglers and traffickers.

These children are sick, scared, far away from home and everything they've ever known, alone, and traumatized.

“Sympathy’s easy. You have sympathy for starving children swatting at flies on the late-night commercials. Sympathy is easy because it comes from a position of power. Empathy is getting down on your knees and looking someone else in the eye and realizing you could be them, and that all that separates you is luck.”

So many good hearted people have expressed their desire to go and help these asylum seekers arriving in Lesvos. It can be difficult to take time off from work, school, and life in general. I feel so fortunate to be able to take off for 5 weeks and give my time and energy to those who need it most.

Your financial contributions will help me bring the supplies that these children need the most, and will increase the positive impact that METAdrasi will make.  I will be sure to provide updates regarding the work that I will be doing, and which supplies will be purchased with your generous donations.

Thank you for taking the time to read this, and I appreciate your consideration in supporting my journey!


McKenzǐe Szarmach
Huntington Station, NY

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