Andrea Vigfúsdóttir volunteered at the ShowerPower house. She wrote a beautiful story, reflecting on dignity, what it is and how important it is to restore the dignity of the people forced to live in Moria. Thank you for your thoughtful words!
One of the main goals of ShowerPower is to give the women forced to stay in the Moria camp a chance of restoring dignity, even for a short while.
It is hard to define dignity, but having choices is one of the key elements of a dignified life. Choosing what to do, who to live with, what to wear, what to eat etc. are choices most of us take for granted. The people in Moria don´t have these choices and need to depend a great deal upon the kindness of strangers.
Thinking about how a short stay at the ShowerPower house could restore a person´s dignity, the memory of a gorgeous young mother, pregnant with her third child, comes to mind. She was there with her two boys who were running around and playing as children should. One of them spilled something on a rug and the immediate, and natural, reaction of the volunteers present was to assure the mother that this was fine and she didn’t need to worry.
Her reaction was to kindly tell the boys to clean up after themselves and, not listening to our comments, she got down on her knees and scrubbed the floor, deciding for herself how to raise her children and holding her head up high while doing what she would have done in any other situation. Had she been at a friends house or at a restaurant, she would undoubtedly have done the same.
This was a brief moment of normalcy and the mother had the choice of not accepting the help of strangers, but to decide for herself and teaching her children a lesson like any good parent would.
It might sound strange to say that being on your knees, scrubbing a floor could be a dignified moment for anyone, but looking into the mothers´eyes after she got up, there was a clear message – „this is my decision, and I don´t need help“.
It would be wonderful if the people stuck on Lesbos could decide something for themselves and didn’t need the help they are getting. In the meanwhile, organizations like ShowerPower do their best to make life on the island a little more bearable for the people who are forced to stay there. These organizations need support in order to keep their work going, and every little bit helps.