I have to write this. I doubt many will read it or that anyone cares. But I feel sick to the pit of my stomach. Please if you are reading this and you work in any kind of official role that bares any relationship to anything around migration, please please please think about the words on this page. I feel absolutely heartbroken.
Today is WORLD REFUGEE DAY and 1 in every 108 people are displaced. People with power will tell you - loudly and aggressively - that migration is bad. That offering to resettle people is wrong. They’ll say migration threatens security and values. But we say that it’s greed and power that’s driving the wars and persecution that displaces good people. Normal, everyday people refusing to join in the violence. They’re displaced because they HOPE to live in PEACE.
We hereby inform you that as of 22 May 2019, Aid Brigade has ceased all activities until further notice. This means the community centre is closed and there is no of food distribution, NFI provision, legal referral, first aid, psychological support, safeguarding and protection of vulnerable groups to refugees in Sarajevo.
Two-year old Mawda, whose family we closely supported, shot by Belgian police during a car chase in the night of 16-17 May last year. We think of her parents and brother, who were treated deplorably by Belgian authorities in the aftermath of Mawda’s death. With the investigation not advancing, they are forced to continue, tirelessly, to demand justice.
Yesterday, Le Stadio Seawatche held the FIFA World Cup for people held hostage at sea. Teams came from Sudan, South Sudan, England, Senegal, Ivory Coast, Holland, Ghana, Guinnea Conakry, Guinnea Bissau, and the Central African Republic. The winner was everybody. But mostly me. Football is an international language which bonds and unites communities. You can be from anywhere in the world and have nothing in common, but drop a ball, and we play. Don’t have a ball? No problem. We’ll make one out of rags and tape. And we will play.
The recent Channel boat crossings have created a media storm and, while this may have been an opportunity to emphasise the deep rooted issues in hostile European immigration policies and increasingly violent and impenetrable borders, the perspective of those most entrapped by the lack of legal routes has been omitted. These are a few snippets of conversations we’ve had with displaced families living in both Calais and Dunkirk, who have resorted to these desperate measures.
Chios is snowing and there is a desperate need to buy blankets for people in the refugee camp. People live in tents and sleep right on the plastic bottom of the tent. People are shaking with cold when they queue. At the last delivery I had a warm scarf that I used to warm ice-cold hands with. If you want to be a fellow man then this is the right moment.
According to the testimony of those who knew him, the man lived in a tent in the Olive Grove, an overspill area bordering Moria camp. He had friends who were sometimes able to host him in a container. For three weeks, the man had been complaining about the cold. Winter in Lesvos has been very bitter this year, with temperatures plummeting below zero at night.