Global Summer Camp: In the footsteps of a refugee
Join us on a trip through Europe where we follow in the footsteps of refugees. We travel along the same route which many hundreds of thousands of refugees have been taken from Europe’s coast and outer borders through Balkan to Germany and Denmark.
You will gain insight into how it is like to travel the long way, when we visit refugee camps on the Greek coast, travel by train through Balkan, cross borders in Eastern Europe and meet refugees on our way. The purpose of the trip is to listen to the testimonies of refugees, learn from them and get inspired to how we can take action in defense of the human rights of refugees. We start in Copenhagen and move south through Europe until ending up on the Greek island of Lesbos.
We travel by train, bus and ferry through Europe. It gives you a sense of the long distances you have to overcome to get to Denmark from the Mediterranean over land.
Some stages will be longer, and we will book us into night trains with couchettes or sleepers.
We make stops on our way – and gain new insight
During our travel, we will stop and learn more about the conditions refugees live under, the policies regulating refugees’ lives, and how the influx of refugees is being managed in Europe. You will get new and thorough knowledge on migration and asylum policies in Europe, and witness the debate unfold in countries in very different political situations. And you can gain something from participating, no matter your previous experience and knowledge of the issue. We believe in the fact that we learn the most from the people we meet on our way.
Travel route and program:
The camp will begin in Copenhagen, Denmark
The camp will begin with 3 days of introduction at MS Denmark’s hostel in Copenhagen. Here you will meet your fellow travel companions, and we get to know each other through various teambuilding activities.
The introduction in Copenhagen will consist of workshops with experts in international law and human rights, history of the refugee crisis, and trauma management in crisis situations.
We also hear the testimony of a refugee who have been traveling the long way from home to Greece through Europe to Denmark. We will visit a center for asylum seekers in Denmark, and learn more about the Danish refugee and asylum policy.
And then, we board the train and travel to Berlin, Germany
Berlin: Hope, community and creativity
Germany is one of the European countries which has taken many refugees, and the debate is ongoing. We meet with both sides. The ones who want to close the borders, and the ones who want to open up.
Our first meet up in Berlin will be with a Syrian refugee taking us on an alternative guided tour to the city. Through the streets of Berlin, we are told the story of a refugee and we see the city from the perspective of a refugee.
Berlin is always one step ahead, and vibrating with community and creativity. We seek inspiration for further action when visiting just a few of the many projects using community and creativity when welcoming refugees and improving their situation: People sharing their flats with refugees, the bike repair giving refugees tailwind, or professionals creating jobs for migrants. We will participate ourselves, and share our food traditions and stories with each other when we cook at a community kitchen with refugees and activists in Berlin.
The border between Hungary and Serbia
The Hungary/Serbia border is protected by a wall which is 4 meters high and more than 500 km long. It was build by the Hungarian authorities to stop the influx of refugees. But the refugees are still there, now just stuck in camps just before the border, until they risk their lives and try to cross the heavily guarded border.
We will get first hand knowledge about the refugee policies of Hungary and the European Union seen from one of the EU’s outer borders, and we investigate if it is actually possible to shut down a refugee route.
From the border, we take the night train south through Serbia and Macedonia.
Volunteering in Thessaloniki, Greece
What can you do, if you want to improve conditions for refugees in Europe? We visit a refugee day center where volunteers have taken action and are helping by handing out clothes to refugees. We do our part, and we get an understanding of how you can volunteer and what it takes to become a professional in an NGO working with refugees.
Athens: Unaccompanied minors and the financial crisis
In Athens, we will call on the responsible authorities. We will visit Frontex, the EU border authorities, and Greek authorities as well, and have a chance to confront them with our questions.
We will visit a refugee center for unaccompanied minors, and a community center for and by some of the people in Greece who have faced the hardest consequences of the financial crisis. This will give us the opportunity to discuss what it takes to create less boundaries and avoid racism between socially marginalized people and refugees.
Lesbos: The coast and outer border of the European Union
We arrive to Lesbos by ferry, the same sailing route as thousands of refugees have taken to arrive to the European mainland.
Here, we will witness the refugee camp Moria where refugees arriving on the coast of Lesbos are being detained, and we will meet the people receiving and working with newcoming refugees.
The camp concludes by an action project, where you get the chance to put your newly acquired knowledge into use, before we says goodbye to each other by celebrating a farewell dinner.
NB: The program is subject to change.
When the camp ends, we will be on Lesbos. You can either fly home, but if you live within reach of the railnet, we recommend that you use your interrail pass for traveling home by train.
You are also most welcome to stay in Greece and use some of your new insights to volunteer and help refugees in Greece. We have several contacts and partners – just contact us well in advance.
Trainer and tour guide
Ditte Bloch Noer will be lead trainer and tour guide of the summer camp.
Presentation of Ditte in her own words: ’I have been working with refugee issues for several years, both in paid positions and as a volunteer, and I am looking very much forward to putting all my experience into use and give you an educational and eye-opening trip. I used to work inside the refugee camp on Lesbos, which we will be visiting at the end of the program, and this experience made a huge impression on me. I have also lived and worked for several years in the Middle East and Eastern Africa, and through the last 10 years, I have been committed to training and organizing youth in Denmark as well as abroad.’
All accommodation during the 3 weeks is included in the extra fee.
Breakfast is included all days, lunch and dinner on your own.
This camp travels through Europe, so we are in more than one location.
Accommodation by location in short:
Copenhagen, Denmark: We will stay at Globalhagen, hostel of MS Denmark
Berlin, Germany: We will stay in a backpacker hostel in Berlin
Border Hungary/Serbia: To be announced
Thessaloniki, Greece: We stay in shared apartments
Athens, Greece: We stay in a hostel in downtown Athens
Lesbos, Greece: Flats or guest house
This camp travels through Europe, so we are in more than one location.
This is the route in short:
Copenhagen, Denmark: 3 days
Berlin, Germany: 4 days
Border Hungary/Serbia: 3 days
Thessaloniki, Greece: 2 days
Athens, Greece: 2 days
Lesbos, Greece: 4 days
Traveling by train gives us time to get to know each other. Please bring game cards and musical instruments, or your favorite song for singing when passing through the changing landscapes.
You will have time for exploring the cities we visit on your own. Suggestions for leisure activities could be visiting the historical monuments in Berlin or Athens, or have an evening out at one of the town’s venues, dinner at a local restaurant etc.
MS Denmark has a long history of sending volunteers, doing work camps and global courses. We are part of ActionAid, and we fight against inequality by supporting marginalized people in fighting for their rights and organizing to break the structures which holds them back in poverty. We fight for the human rights of refugees in both Denmark and internationally.
Duration: 3 weeks, starting from 8th of July in Copenhagen, Denmark, and ending 29th of July on Lesbos, Greece
Induction course: 14th of June (participation via skype)
The extra fee of the camp includes:
• 3 weeks of summer camp from Denmark to Greece (incl. accommodation and breakfast)
• Induction course the 14th of July by skype
• All workshops, excursions and project visits as planned in the program
• Reservations on train and ferry, and local transportation
• Travel guide following with the group all 3 weeks
• Access to 24H emergency phone
• Administration costs at Global Contact
The fee does not include:
• Lunch and dinner
• Interrail pass (you will need a Global Pass valid for 1 month and at least 7 traveling days)
• Travel insurance
Important information about transportation and train tickets;
We will travel primarily by train, and it is a prerequisite for participation that you buy an interrail pass. It needs to be a Global Pass valid for 1 month and at least 7 traveling days. You can read more about prices of a Global Pass and about interrail here: https://www.interrail.eu/en/interrail-passes/global-pass It is very important that you don’t buy your interrail pass before having your participation on this camp finally confirmed by Global Contact. When confirming, we will make sure to provide you with detailed instructions on the dates and duration for your Global Pass. Please also don’t buy any flight tickets or travel insurance etc. before your participation is confirmed by us. Please note that it is of your own responsibility to buy the interrail ticket, a travel insurance and flight ticket.
Interrail and reservations
We will take care of reservations on the journey from Copenhagen to Lesbos in the trains where reservation is needed. The cost of reservations is already included in the fee.
Since the camp ends on Lesbos, have in mind that you need to make reservations yourself for train and ferry for your travel back from Lesbos well in advance, or buy a flight ticket.