How One Greek Hairdresser Helped Over 20,000 Refugees

Time and time again we are astounded by the generosity of strangers, and reminded that for every person we causing chaos and destruction in the world, there is another spreading love and compassion towards their fellow human being.

Hearing about the commitment of Vasilis Tsartsanis, a Greek hairdresser and film maker, to help others is truly heartwarming.

For nearly three year Vasilis and his friends helped refugees, largely from Syria, who arrived in Idomeni (a village on the border of Greece and Macedonia). As hundreds of thousands of people made their way through the village they started by bringing food and water to those desperately in need. Later they would use their car to act as an ambulance serving, bringing pregnant women and sick people to friends houses and finding local doctors to treat them. Over the years he estimates he has directly helped over 20,000 people.

As the numbers escalated to new levels Vasilis knew they needed much more help from the international community and went across Europe speaking to the media.

Today he still laments the way refugees are treated in many places across Europe

““It’s like we make them to feel worse than animals,” Vasilis told The Independent “We would put dogs somewhere better.”

Over the past 18 months since Help Refugees began we have come across so many people just like Vasilis, refugees, local people and volunteers who truly are the unsung heroes of the refugee crisis. Help Refugees raison d’etre has been to find people like Vasilis, doing incredible work (whether as part of a grassroots group or as independents) and support their work. We thank, and pay tribute to each and every individual who has looked into their hearts and made the decision to #ChooseLove and help their fellow man, woman and child.