Second Tree is a community-led, volunteer-run, grassroots NGO working with refugees in Northern Greece. Second Tree takes its name from the following proverb:
Our belief is that it is never too late to take action and work towards making a positive difference in the world.
Our founders were volunteers who – moved by the arrival of people on European shores in 2016 – met in Katsikas Refugee Camp and decided to leave their old lives and build an organisation that first and foremost treats refugees like the people they are. Their vision resonated with many others. Since 2017, the team has had more than 120 people from all over the world who have donated their time and skills to stand in solidarity with refugees.
To change the way refugees are perceived by modeling an approach to community engagement that strengthens agency and enables each individual to reach their true potential.
We aim to improve the lives of refugees by creating a society where they are seen as unique human beings first and foremost – with their own history, skills, interests and needs – and not just as bearers of a ‘refugee’ identity.
Second Tree was founded by volunteers, and volunteers remain the backbone of our organisation.
"Living an examined life is facing one insult after another. You will be made aware of your mistakes constantly. You need to have a sense of humour to get through this." - Sam Harris
"When it gets down to having to use violence, then you are playing the system’s game. The establishment will irritate you – pull your beard, flick your face – to make you fight. Because once they’ve got you violent, then they know how to handle you. The only thing they don’t know how to handle is non-violence and humor." ― John Lennon
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world” – Nelson Mandela
“If we do act, in however small a way, we don’t have to wait for some grand utopian future. The future is an infinite succession of presents, and to live now as we think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvelous victory.” – Howard Zinn
"I love to see a young girl go out and grab the world by the lapels. Life's a bitch. You've got to go out and kick ass." – Maya Angelou
“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
“Washing one’s hands of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless means to side with the powerful, not to be neutral.” – Paulo Freire
"Life is not about how many times you fall down. It's about how many times you get back up." – Jaime Escalante
"Even the smallest person can change the course of the future." - JRR Tolkien
"We are what we do, especially what we do to change what we are.” — Eduardo Galeano
"The only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free that your very existence is an act of rebellion." - Albert Camus
"A dwarf standing on the shoulders of a giant may see farther than a giant himself." - R. Burton
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” – Martin Luther King
"Hate is baggage. Life's too short to be pissed off all the time. It's just not worth it" - Danny Vinyard
"In a gentle way, you can shake the world." -Mahatma Gandhi
We are built on the time, effort and feedback of so many others. Come and meet them!
Second Tree has had the privilege to partner with respected organisations from all over the world.