Weekend Reads: “A Country Within”

A Country Within: A Journey of Love and Hope During the Refugee Crisis in GreeceA Country Within: A Journey of Love and Hope During the Refugee Crisis in Greece by Kim Malcolm

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Disclosure up front: I was given a copy of this book by the author.

It’s impossible to escape news stories about the refugees from various countries these days. Most of us, though, can view those stories at a comfortable remove. Not Kim Malcolm, though; she chose to confront the matter head-on by heading to the island of Lesvos to volunteer with locals who were assisting those boat-borne arrivals in crisis.

Malcolm not only gives us an inside look at working with independents and NGOs (non-government organizations, like the UN Humanitarian Crisis group), but also gives voice to fellow volunteers and the refugees they serve.

Malcolm also speaks frankly of the strain her decision to spend so much time in Greece put on her family, especially after she essentially adopts a refugee family. The dynamics of that particular situation are laid out in frank detail and can serve as a cautionary tale about becoming too deeply involved out of compassion fatigue at times rather than stepping back and exercising some self-care.

Malcolm’s authorial voice is honest, direct, and eloquent. I enjoyed reading this work and highly recommend it.

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