Peacemaker Visit, September 16-21
Our Presbytery’s International Peacemaker this year will be Efi Latsoudi of Greece. A psychologist, filmmaker, and human rights advocate, she serves refugees and asylum seekers fleeing to Europe from Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. See her bio below.
Please contact Amgad Beblawi (502-592-3223) if you want to find out more of if you would like to invite Efi to speak at your church. Thank you for your gifts to the Peace and Global Witness Offering, which make this possible through PCUSA’s World Mission and the Peacemaking Program.
Psychologist and human rights activist Efi Latsoudi is one of the founders of Lesvos Solidarity, a grass-roots organization based on Lesvos Island in Greece. Efi was also the coordinator and founder of the first open, independent welcoming shelter (Pipka Camp) for refugees fleeing to Greece primarily from Africa and the Middle East. Pipka Camp operated for 8 years, until it was forcibly closed by the Greek authorities in October 2020.
Efi’s determination and commitment to advocate for the vulnerable remains strong. Lesvos Solidarity, which is focused on a strong advocacy presence for the rights of the refugees, runs housing, educational, employability, psychosocial and medical programs. The organization’s vision is to inspire society and to expand its solidarity model, which promotes equality, trust, creativity, empowerment, active participation, and respect for each other and the environment. Lesvos Solidarity’s beneficiaries are among the most vulnerable refugees hosted in camps across Lesvos, including people who suffer from serious medical conditions, victims of torture and violence, large families with children, pregnant women, newborns, LGBTQIA+ persons, single adults, and victims of shipwrecks who lost loved ones at sea.
Efi is also a filmmaker who has created short documentaries and films and written scripts for fiction films. Efi holds degrees from the University of Athens, School of Philosophy, the University of Picardi-Jules Vernes in Maitrise de Psychology Clinic and the University of Paris. In 2016, she was awarded the Nansen Award, conferred by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to those who go beyond the call of duty in helping people forcibly displaced from their homes. On September 20, 2021, Efi Latsoudi was also awarded the “Anita Augspurg Award” by the international organization WILPF (Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom) for her collective contribution and “commitment to maintaining peaceful coexistence”. Another important moment of recognition was from the International Peace Award to Lesvos Solidarity and Efi Latsoudi by the German Institute die Schwelle on May 20, 2022, in the category “Encouraging Initiatives” for the overall activity of her and Lesvos Solidarity