Johnnie Walker shines a light on the refugee crisis

Ode to Lesvos: The True Story of a Few Remarkable Heroes

“Ode to Lesvos,” a new documentary film by Syrian Director Talal Derki, in partnership with Scotch whisky makers Johnnie Walker, tells the story of the heroic response of Greek islanders who helped almost half a million refugees forced to flee their homelands.

In 2015, Europe witnessed the single biggest migration of people since World War II. As hundreds of thousands of people fled war and terror in Syria, Afghanistan and other conflict-affected countries, many attempted to cross the Aegean Sea in the hope of finding safety and opportunity for a brighter tomorrow.

Many of them didn’t survive the journey and countless numbers had to struggle to shore. The usually peaceful waters around the Greek island of Lesvos became the center of a humanitarian crisis of unimaginable scale. The islanders’ inspiring response, in the face of extraordinary tragedy, has earned them a Nobel Peace Prize nomination.

“Ode to Lesvos” tells the lesser-told story of the uplifting response of the islanders who rescued people from the sea, gave shelter, and provided food and water.

As a leader in the global refugee crisis response, Mercy Corps works in Greece to respond to the urgent needs of the most vulnerable people, support their safe passage and uphold the dignity of those seeking asylum. Today, our refugee response provides support to more than 8.3 million people who have fled their homes in 22 countries.

Mercy Corps is grateful that Johnnie Walker has selected us as the beneficiary of this initiative. We hope that people will be inspired by the islanders’ simple, yet extraordinary actions in the “Ode to Lesvos” films.

However, the need is still great and we hope that by showing this story we can inspire you and others to see that we can all do our part. Please donate today to support Mercy Corps' work in this ongoing crisis and help others in need around the world. Together we can transform lives.

Help us provide even more support to the people who need us around the world.