Heroes are not born; they are made. Fisherman Stratis Valamios embodies that. His life changed when he spent months rescuing men, women and children from the waters around his home.
“Can you really ignore what’s in front of your eyes? Because tomorrow it could be me. I could be on a boat with my family and I would like to be helped,” he says in Ode to Lesvos, a new documentary from Johnnie Walker Storyline.
Together with his village, a population of around 150, Stratis helped thousands of refugees who came ashore, fleeing war and seeking a better future.
The people of Lesvos responded positively. Last year they helped almost half a million refugees making the dangerous voyage across the Aegean Sea.
Created by scotch maker Johnnie Walker, Ode to Lesvos is part of the Storyline initiative, which aims to present real life stories from around the globe.
This documentary short tells the stories of the islanders whose uncompromising compassion has earned some of them – including Stratis, fellow fisherman Thanassis Marmarinos and 85-year-old Aimilia Kamvisi – a Nobel nomination.
As part of the launch of Ode to Lesvos, Johnnie Walker is supporting Mercy Corps, an organization that helps people survive and thrive after conflict, crisis and natural disasters. Since the Syrian war began, Mercy Corps has helped more than 7.7 million people affected by the crisis and expanded its programming to Greece and the Balkans in response to the migration crisis.
Ode to Lesvos was released in time for International Peace Day (September 21) and can be viewed here: http://bit.ly/JWOdeToLesvos. Malaysians can donate to the work of Mercy Corps by visiting: www.mercycorps.org/johnniewalker.
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Source:: Business By Insider