When Bev Jackson's holiday to India is cancelled in October 2015, she feels an odd sense of relief. She has spent months watching the arrivals of refugees in Greece and is dismayed at the lack of support from the European Union for people fleeing war zones. In 2015, a million refugees, most of them from war-torn Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan, arrived in Europe. Well over half of them passed through the small Greek island of Lesvos. Bev and her wife decide to spend their month's holiday volunteering with refugees on Lesvos as members of Starfish, one of the volunteer groups helping to receive and care for people who have crossed the Aegean Sea from Turkey in search of safety.
A Month with Starfish is a largely light-hearted account of a trip to a kaleidoscopic world. In these surroundings, Bev finds that her professional talents are of little use and instead she needs to learn how to register dates of birth for people who use a different calendar and how to draw a decent tortoise on a bus ticket. Volunteering with refugees proves an astonishingly joyful experience: Bev meets some of the most compassionate and resilient people in the world, volunteers and refugees alike, and makes many new friends. Amid this varied cast of characters, she finds herself on a crash course in human possibilities and her own potential for change.
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