Baylor Accounting Athens trip
As I think about what it means to love a refugee in Europe, I am overwhelmed. What can I do? Do I donate clothes? Donate money? Giotis Kantartzis , who serves refugees in the center of Athens, challenged me to “flip my list.” What he meant was that so many people are thinking about food, clothes, shelter, medicine, but no one is finding ways to restore dignity to the refugee by helping them become self-sustainable. In other words, get them a job and thereby provide a way to fill all the needs on a list of essentials.
I want to flip that list in Athens with Giotis. Athens represents perhaps the most challenging city in the world to work. Its inhabitants are still devastated by the economic crisis in 2008, a massive brain drain of talented young people and it is overwhelmed by 40,000 refugees.
Baylor is sending a team of students in March to Athens to partner with the local non-profits to help turn the refugee crisis into an opportunity for flourishment. I want to join this team. The group is made up of students studying accounting, social work, general business (primarily MBAs), and religion. This is extremely exciting to me given the potential for synergies we can create by having individuals with diverse skillsets working together. We will be partnering with the Athenians to understand the needs of the people and develop plans to bring hope to the broken. On the trip, I will work with a church looking to better serve the young entrepreneurs in the city. Although this historic location provides me a tremendous opportunity to see and experience a fascinating part of history and culture, primarily I want to go because I hope this experience will transform me to be a person of greater compassion and to love people more.
The only barrier to me going now is funding so I am writing you to see you can be a part of this. I need to raise $2,000 to cover all my costs. My hope is to raise the money before Christmas so I can focus energy in the New Year on preparing for the trip. Please consider whether you can sacrificially give so we can help restore dignity to those who have lost everything.
Thank you for your support! I look forward to sharing our journey with you.