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Precious Cargo

My friend Hannah is on the MSF ship Ocean Viking in the central Mediterranean. 

Fifteen days ago they rescued an incredible 356 people from drowning! Heroes in any other story. 

...but in this story the people are asylum seekers and not…..... Not what? White? European? Legal? Humans? 

 
Photo Credit: Hannah Wallace Bowman, 20 August 2019  Midnight on World Humanitarian Day

Photo Credit: Hannah Wallace Bowman, 20 August 2019

Midnight on World Humanitarian Day

 

Whatever the reason, these survivors became victims of the latest political standoff leaving them stuck out at sea and unable to port. Until today. 

The rescued people are disembarking in Malta, but none are staying there. Six European countries agreed to take them in - Germany, France, Ireland, Luxembourg, Portugal and Romania. 

Photo: Hannah Wallace Bowman, 23 August 2019

Photo: Hannah Wallace Bowman, 23 August 2019

Photo: Hannah Wallace Bowman, 23 August 2019

Photo: Hannah Wallace Bowman, 23 August 2019

Quite poignantly, another friend Jacob, from our partners Action for Education, shared this today...

We come from Africa which is for us the most beautiful continent. We do not leave our countries out of pleasure because it is not easy to arrive here. 

We cross oceans, deserts or large forests. It is a matter of life or death and many people do not understand that. 

They do not understand because they do not live in these situations in which it is very difficult to see our families being killed and we never see them again. It is very difficult to go to the cemetery and bury them.

Black people are not animals. We should not have to feel like that. Sometimes life can be unfair.
— 16 year old living in Vial Refugee Camp on Chios Island, Greece
 
Photo: Hannah Wallace Bowman, 23 August 2019

Photo: Hannah Wallace Bowman, 23 August 2019

 

A few stats from UNHCR

  • 70.8 million people are displaced worldwide

  • 25.9 million are refugees 

    ...of which more than HALF are CHILDREN

  • 80% of refugees live in countries neighbouring their country of origin. The top refugee-hosting countries being:

    - Turkey 3.7 million people

    - Pakistan 1.4 million people

    - Uganda 1.2 million people

    - Sudan 1.1 million people

    - Germany 1.1 million people

  • The UK? We host just 124,000 refugees - or 0.2% of our population.

We’re not flooded. We’re not everyone’s destination du jour. A handful of people seek to come here, and surely fewer than our fare share as the sixth biggest economy in the world?

Photo: Hannah Wallace Bowman, 23 August 2019

Photo: Hannah Wallace Bowman, 23 August 2019

Photo: Hannah Wallace Bowman, 23 August 2019

Photo: Hannah Wallace Bowman, 23 August 2019

I run Donate4Refugees because people just like me and you become refugees. Everyday people who, through no fault of their own, aren’t getting to live safe, peaceful, normal lives, like we do. 

Their path through life is pushing them to their limits of survival, endurance, will-power, inner strength, forgiveness, and so much more that we can’t begin to understand. 

Refugees are the bravest people on the planet right now and I’m proud to do all I can to help them. And I invite you to join me. Join us. #InHumanity #InSolidarity.