About

Benjamin Gow, waiting for refugee boats, beaches of Lesvos, Greece, photograph by Melanie GowWhen I was seven I watched a child collecting cowpats to dry for fuel in India, and figured out that Santa doesn’t visit everyone.

Aged 16 I walked with my mother and my brother for 33 days over the Pyrenees and across Spain for 800km. Now I’m 18, instead of going to university I have chosen to work with refugees fleeing war.

Wanting to study politics and media, I realised that I couldn’t tell people what was right and wrong if I didn’t stand up for it myself. I found myself on the beaches of Lesvos helping refugees crossing the Aegean on dinghies in an attempt to escape war.

“Overnight I went from being an 18-year-old knowing nothing, to being a part of saving a person’s life just by deciding to, and showing up.” 

Now, I am working with the urban refugee population of Izmir, Turkey as the Microloans Coordinator for ReVI, Refugee Volunteers of Izmir, and heading up the TeaMo project; an initiative intended to lift children from zero to literate by teaching mothers to teach, TeaMo, a home school programme.