Vanessa Maragou is a military officer in the Greek Air Force, she’s part of the Mobile Team for Dealing With Disasters (known there as ΚΟΜΑΚ), and she’s also a VOLUNTARY Rescuer.
In tonight’s interview, I have the special joy of hosting a very strong personality. It’s about a delightful woman, Vanessa Maragou, whom her smile makes the world just better.
Vanessa is a military officer in the Greek Air Force, she’s part of the Mobile Team for Dealing With Disasters (known there as ΚΟΜΑΚ), and she’s also a VOLUNTARY Rescuer. She stands out for her multidimensional activity, she’s a football referee, a journalist, a historian, a dancing teacher, awarded from the beauty world, she speaks a multitude of foreign languages and she’s a councilwoman for the Municipality of Kallithea. In parallel with all of this she has also saved people under very difficult circumstances.
She does so many things that I can’t fit them all…Let’s get to know her better!!!!
- Good afternoon Vanessa! For start how difficult is it for a woman to be occupied with male dominated professions such as football while also being a member of the team for Dealing with Disasters, which from what I know you are the first woman to be accepted to the team ?
Not everyone is capable of everything. Every person has a specialty regardless of their gender, while the world has now accepted the dominance of top male fashion designers, cooks and hair stylists, in areas which are traditionally considered as female dominated. So why shouldn’t I succeed too…to excel…on a clearly male dominated area …Nothing is hard for someone who’s trying and has the willpower.
2.How do your men colleagues see you?
At first they were skeptical with me…However when they saw that I am doing exactly what they do and that I’m trying even more than they do, they accepted me. Over time I managed with the people I’ve save in the rescuer space as wells as my correct whistles as a referee to earn the trust of the whole world and become very admired.
3. The Press has written about you and the successful rescues you have done. It baffled me that you must even be the only Greek who was on a cover on all Turkish newspapers and specifically at HURRIYET. What are your emotions after every rescue?
I feel whole as a person, because my reward is the smile which forms on the face of the person I have just saved. That feeling, I don’t change it with anything.
4. At what age did volunteering came into your life? What is your message to everyone wanting to volunteer?
Volunteering came from a young age, since I was nearly 16 and I owe that to my father who used to take me everywhere with him to help people without expecting anything in return. Those who truly want to seriously volunteer have to understand that they need to spend time from their lives and whatever they do it will be without expecting any material or monetary compensation… only moral satisfaction for the good they’ll have done….
5.A football referee with whistles in Greek Finals and Greek Cup Finals of Men and Women in Beach Soccer…How do you characterize yourself in the field and out of it?
I am not too different as a person in and out of the field. But the game just like life needs proper management, seriousness, respect and fair treatment to everyone you talk to.
6.Preparation actions for catastrophes by the Ministry Of Education.
What do you think of the orientation in schools and what would you suggest, after all those years in service?
I think that orientation in schools is still lacking…First Aid Training Sessions are needed under the supervision of the Ministry of Education in cooperation with the Rescuer Teams.
7.Describe a 24 hour day of yours. .Is there any free time for you and if so, what do you fill it with?
The truth is, 24 hours are not enough for what I want to do!! I don’t do the same things every day…but my routine will definitely have training, reading, whistling and no resting at all.. In the little free time I have I go out for food or to the cinema with the people I love.
What does the word love mean for you? At first for the fellow person but also on a personal level..
For me, love is an emotion of intense affection and personal devotion either for the fellow person or on a personal level. In philosophy, love is a virtue which represents human kindness, compassion and affection.
8.What does a rescuer feel when he/she saves a life? How have you felt, having saved people many times from certain death?
You just feel whole….What you feel is difficult to describe with words.
9. You were elected first in the municipal elections of Kallithea..What are your future plans on that department?
Yes, I thank the people who believed in me, and everyday I do everything in my power to help, so things can improve for the better in Kallithea. In the upcoming elections I will submit my candidacy again and I hope the people trust me again.
10.What do you place above all in your life?
My father…who raised me on his own and to whom I owe what I am today..I could give up my life for him.
11.What is the thing you have missed in your life?
My mother because I lost her early…But I am lucky because I have people who love me, take care of me, support me in all these things I do…just like Despoina whom in her face I found the mother I never had…
12. How do you deal with the idea of marriage and family? Is any of it in your plans?
If I accept a marriage proposal and I don’t give him a red card to send him in the locker room, then in my immediate plans it is to give him and advantage…..to wait for me in the church…!!!Then he will surely be the lucky scorer in my heart.
13. You are an instructor at the Institute of Anthropogenic And Natural Disasters. How did that partnership come to be?
For a start I’d like to thank the team’s president Ksenia Georgiadou who believes in me as a volunteer rescuer and honored me by making me Instructor at the Institute. Our partnership with the team has been a long one. We have taken part together in many missions…and also in many first aid seminars, schools and boroughs across the state.
Member of the Audit Committee at the Union of European Journalists for Media Independence and Transparency
Founding member International Association of Cretan journalists International