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Our World Refugee Day 2019 Message

Our World Refugee Day 2019 Message

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.

Le Stadio Seawatche

Le Stadio Seawatche

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.

Crossing the Channel

Crossing the Channel

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.

Greek Islands Winter Crisis

Greek Islands Winter Crisis

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.

Lesvos Dead from Cold

Lesvos Dead from Cold

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.