The Humans of Pikpa is a storytelling project about the residents, staff and volunteers that make up the community of Pikpa refugee camp on Lesvos island, Greece. The project was based on the ‘Humans of New York’ model (and other ‘Humans of’ projects), whereby participants share a brief, illuminating story about their lives. It was undertaken by volunteers towards the end of 2019. 


Since that time Lesvos has been afflicted by violent attacks on refugees, volunteers and premises used to support those affected by the crisis; the world has been racked by the COVID 19 pandemic that presents a disproportionate threat to those accommodated in overcrowded and unsanitary refugee camps. It seems even more important than ever now that people read the powerful, sorrowful and invariably, defiantly, hopeful stories of those involved in the refugee crisis, and join the campaign for sustainable action to alleviate the situation. 


Pikpa is an environment where people can find dignity, love, safety and respect. These are the values that underpin, and clearly emerge from, the stories in ‘The Humans of Pikpa.

“The most important thing in my life is love: My Love for my God and my love for others”

“The most important thing in my life is love: My Love for my God and my love for others”

I was a student in banking and finance in my country. After some years, I realised that my vocation was in languages, being an interpreter/translator.

I left my country and reached Greece by boat. I lived in Moria camp with other refugees. Then my social worker sent me to Pikpa camp. When I first arrived at Pikpa, I felt that it couldn't be a place for me. I felt that a lot of people were more in need of this place than I was.

Something happened that changed everything inside of me. I was always asking myself about the existence of God and I got an answer one night in my room. From that day until the end of my life, I will always mention his Holy Name for what he has done for me.

At Pikpa I met volunteers coming from Europe and America, distributing food and giving classes, offering something that the people who are supposed to help us do not. I was feeling so thankful – first for my God, Jesus-Christ, and second for the volunteers and Pikpa community. I was so lucky to be there.

I don’t know how to hurt people because I have so much love inside me. When I am in a bad situation I try to remember that I will never be alone. Even sometimes when people hate me, I just think they don’t know who I am. I don’t have any enemies. I made a choice to never judge again, and I made the vow to always forgive and ask for forgiveness. The most important thing in my life is love: My Love for my God and my love for others.

In 2029, by the Will of my God, I will be married. I would like to leave Greece but wherever My Lord will decide, I will go. I would like to work in Africa with refugees, orphans, poor people, widows, homeless, hopeless and unsafe people.

My love is focused primarily on My Mighty and Lovely Father who gave me enough strength to survive and write a story.

Interviews by Tom Adams and Aud Steinsbekk / Editing by Tom Adams

Photo by Knut Tinagent


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