The long-term benefits of NGO work

As discussed in previous posts on this platform, my partner and I recently spent five months working for a medical non-governmental organisation (NGO) in Thessaloniki, Greece. After an intense last week, during which we handed over the medical coordination, wrapped up unfinished work and said our goodbyes to new friends and colleagues, we travelled to the island of Skopelos. Holidaying between luscious green forests and sun-flooded beaches, the evenings spent among Greeks at their laid-back and hospitable best, it’s been tempting to be lulled into reconciliation with this beautiful continent. Yet while…

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The dilemma of medical NGOs

This January, my partner and I started working for a medical NGO in Thessaloniki, Greece (a detailed description of the project can be found here). A month after our arrival, we were asked to take on the medical coordination. This has meant additional responsibilities such as overseeing medical staff, answering emergency calls and communicating with various actors within the Greek healthcare institutions. An interesting part of the role has also been the collaboration with other NGOs. We cooperate with several partners offering services from the distribution of food and non-food-items…

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First impressions from Thessaloniki

In the wake of increased migration to Europe over the past decade, and due in no small part to substandard healthcare for refugees, a number of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) have started providing emergency medical care. As fourth-year residents in internal medicine, my partner and I had begun to feel confident that we could make a useful contribution. Several colleagues had already volunteered with a German NGO currently operating in Bosnia, Serbia and Greece and recommended them as an experienced set-up with good connections on the ground. After months of planning,…

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