Jocke Hedman – Project manager at Lesvos

Joakim, better known as Jocke, is our project manager at Lesvos and responsible for all off our operations such as cooking and purchase. He is a absolute delight to work with and has selflessly been volunteering for quite some time now.

Jocke Hedman – Project manager at Lesvos

What was it that made you give up your life at home to go away and volunteer?

– I do not regard being here as giving up something, it is not about that. I cannot disregard the privileges being born where I was, but what is of importance is what each person decides to do with what has been given to them.

For how long have you been away?

– I’ve been on Lesbos for almost 9 months now, since the beginning of November 2015.

Have you been volunteering before working with WE ACT?

Before starting in WE ACT, I had done quite a few other volunteer works, a variation of stuff.

– For a couple of years, I was active in The Swedish Red Cross Youth in Lund. Twice per week we helped a class with unaccompanied children with their homework. In Lund, I was also for a short period of time active in Skåne Stadsmission, an organisation helping homeless people.

In excess of the examples above, I worked one summer in one of Red Cross café and second-hand shops in Stockholm. I worked in the kitchen, and prepared and cooked the food served in the café.

Before I went to Lesbos in early November 2015, I volunteered as a English teacher in Chisinau, Moldavia, for three months. The original plan was to stay there for six months, but I decided to break it off earlier than planned, and go to Greece instead.

What does a typical day look like for you?

– I start early in the mornings, oftentimes between 2-3 am. The breakfast needs to be ready to serve at 7:30 am. After that I start cleaning the kitchen, and get on with the preparations for the next coming day.

Now, when I do not cook lunch and/or dinner, I am generally finished early afternoon. Of course, the days looked different when I did the other meals as well. Ramadan also changed the schedule dramatically, and the work load increased a lot.

I work between 10-15 hours per day, seven days a week.

Do you work all by yourself?

At the moment I do all the work by myself.

How many meals do you cook a day?

What do you want me to answer on that question? At Oxi I have no idea because it was a transit camp and people could eat how much they wanted to, at Pikpa I cooked between 800-1800 portions/day all together (breakfast 500 portions, lunch 500 portions and dinner 500-800 portions), and at Kara Tepe it has been between 600-1000 portions/day (breakfast).

Have you been cooking before?

Before I came here I had done some cooking, but not like this. I worked part time as a chef in a small café in Lund before I left, but it is not comparable with the amounts I am cooking here.

What are your future plans?

Soon I will leave Lesbos, and go back to Sweden. I have some stuff I need to take care of regarding my personal life.

After that I most probably will spend some time in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

WE ACT is planning a new project in Kurdistan, northern Iraq, and as I feel right now I would love to be a part of it. Me and Kurdawan , have talked a lot about it, and I promised him I would go with him if it were to happen.