Kostas Pinteris, a fisherman on the Greek island Lesbos, has been rescuing refugees from drowning in the Aegean Sea for many years and has become a local hero and been nominated for the Nobel peace prize. Pinteris is among the closest eyewitnesses to what Syrian refugees have suffered in their efforts to reach Greece. He has collected a large volume of memories and stories about refugees and the re-telling of his stories in a comic book form.
Participants will have the opportunity to understand experiences and challenges that refugees face while struggling to survive far away from home. With his bravery, help, and support for refugees, he will serve as a role model for participants to try to become future helping hands or ambassadors. Pinteris’ stories will also contribute to the fight against racism, xenophobia, prejudices and intolerance by motivating participants to emphasise with refugees. Pinteris’ grandparents came to Greece from Asia; thus, he is also of migrant origin. Refugees Pinteris helped to survive actually travelled the same journey as his grandparents, reminding that Europe has been home to peoples of different backgrounds, both local and from far away. Pinteris’ inclusion in the project as a role model will enhance intercultural dialogue, contribute to mutual understanding, and build bridges between migrants and hosting societies.