Restart life after a tragedy; any help counts | Melissa Fleming & Alexis Pantazis

Politics & Society

In her TEDxThessaloniki talk in 2015, UNHCR’s spokesperson Melissa Fleming shared the amazing story of a young Syrian refugee, Doaa. Back then, no one could have imagined the extent of the refugee crisis that would find Europe, and indeed the world, unprepared. In this year’s event, Melissa sent a video giving us an update on Doaa’s tragic, yet hopeful, story. The next chapter of her life finds Doaa in Sweden with a scholarship towards her education.
Critical to that was the help of Alexis Pantazis, one of last year’s speakers, that was moved by Doaa’s story and awarded her the scholarship through his company. Alexis took the stage and in a Q&A session with TEDxThessaloniki curator, Elena Papadopoulou, explained the difficulties his company faced in order to award the scholarship and encourage every individual to contribute where nations and institutions, like the EU, fail to do so – a small contribution that can have a very big impact.

Melissa Fleming is a leading communications professional, working to draw attention, drive empathy and generate support for the world’s 50 million refugees and displaced people. As Head of Communications and Chief Spokesperson at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), she leads media teams to bring news and stories of people on the run to the public consciousness.