Sandra Nijhof (51, Marketing & Communication | International Institute of Social Studies (ISS)

“Why not go camping with the kids [16, 13 and 10], like most other people do, I used to think. But fact is, we thrive very well in cities. So each summer we jump on a plane and visit one or more cities. We take things easy once we’re there; absorb the city, watch street theatre, visit parks, and cafes. Of course, sometimes we visit a church or a museum but it’s never the memory of the museum that lasts. It’s about the people you meet, things that happen on the street.
This summer we went to Milan. There we’ve seen many refugees. That was quite confrontational. We as tourists have a ticket for the train and a destination. They just hang around and… wait. At one point we stood back of a long queue for a ticket counter. A man from the group of refugees pulled me out of line and led me quickly through the confusing menu of the ticket vending machine – it saved us more than half an hour waiting period.
It’s admirable how people try to make the best of such a difficult, inhumane situation. I hope my children learn from this as well. Especially that we should not judge others, that we are all the same. If we’d been born at another place, this could have been our life. I think that’s an important lesson.”


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