The island of Lesbos is like any quaint and beautiful little tourist spot in Greece, picturesque and welcoming; not only to travelers and tourists but increasingly to the thousands of refugees that enter into the country through the area, fleeing in from war-torn countries like Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq as well as many African countries.
Most refugees and asylum seekers come into foreign lands with little more than the clothes on their backs, no roof over their heads and struggle to find jobs to sustain themselves and their families. They are forced to live in overcrowded refugee camps and most have no place to call their own.
That’s where one couple comes in. Niko and Katerina Koveou own a little restaurant in Lesbos that not only serves refugees hot and free meals, but also provides them with clothing, basic amenities and is also a support hub for families in need.
Ever since the couple first saw the refugee boats coming in 2014, they have been giving out everything they can to help, with Nikos even returning back sometimes without his own shirt- since he gave it away to someone in need.
They produce thousands of meals a week, with the help of their staff, friends, a community of locals and even international volunteers for distribution among the refugees around Moria, the first camp where refugees are detained upon arrival, at times making over 2000 meals a day in their restaurant kitchen. From then on the couple never looked back, the program has now transitioned into serving refugees for free, every night of the week, in their restaurant, and then shuttling them back to the camps at the end of the night.
According to the two, their restaurant, that the refugees had lovingly titled “Home” is a place where anyone can come and share a meal “Without borders, without religions, without colors and without countries.”
The refugees in turn have great admiration and respect for the couple and Home has been an important part of the island’s well-earned reputation of providing humanitarian aid during the refugee crisis that has crippled its economy.
In a world where nothing seems to go right, people like Nikos and Katerina give us all hope that with just a little compassion and hard work, you can change the lives of countless people around you.