NO MORE BORDERS, NO MORE TEARS
It has been a long hard Summer for so many but winter, with its cold and its darkness, Christmas in all its loneliness for so many and the prospect of facing into another year of war, conflict, death, fear and hatred is more than some of these people can face.
So, we ask again, in fact we are pleading for one more big effort this year. Our plan is to arrive with just the basics and to make a needs assessment on arrival. We hope to have enough funding to make at least part of the living conditions more bearable. As human rights activists we will protest the living conditions, fight for more forthcoming information and a right to refuge and as humanitarians we will try to improve basic needs and rights.
Please do what you can to help us help them. We , as always, deeply appreciate your support to us over many years and hope these friendships ( new and old ) continue. Thank you.
Along with this, Each week we aim to supply many many kilos of fruit ( Oranges, bananas etc) to everyone in the camp as well as hot cups of tea and coffee and fruit and fruit juice to the children on our cafe nights 3 nights a week.
We return to Samos in a week. We will never turn away, never give in and never stop fighting for the rights of every human being on this planet to have basic human rights, basic humanity, basic living conditions, education, solace, sanctuary, medical attention, the right to be heard, seen, listened to, the right of safety, of refuge … and the right and the ability to return home !
We are so grateful to those who have already offered help, donated, fundraised, offered advise, suggestions and ideas of help. From the Pakistani community in Ballaghdereen, to Deirdre in Cork and to all her colleagues and friends, to Eva who is a constant support and provider,Bernie in Belfast who has been behind us all the way, to Claire and Jeremy in France and Amy in Cornwall, Denis in New york and Ireland, and Jerry and Louisa in Mayo… to those who have donated via bank transfer, paypal or go fund me. I wish I could name and personally thank every single one of you, it is the least you deserve but I hope this and our promise of doing our best in your name and with your donations/support suffices in some way to showing our absolute gratitude.
As I said, we are in the last preparations for our return. As you can see from the video ( Thanks M) below, things are extremely bad in Samos. Families seeking refuge continue to arrive across dangerous seas to be faced with the scenes below. We have ideas and plans to implement to try to alleviate some of the conditions below but the constant and more sustainable fight for an end to war, greed, conflict and abuse of humans is to the forefront of our minds and our humanitarian work as always only runs paralell to our beliefs as human rights defenders/activists.
Please continue alongside us, watch the videos, and if at all possible donate,share our updates ( which will continue once we arrive back to Greece next week) stay in touch or get in touch… we can not do any of this alone…
This winter in the camps in Greece, people have died. In 2016/17 in first world countries, in Europe, in our civilized? countries we are watching people die. Drown, freeze, die from inhumane lack of medical treatment, inhumane lack of caring , lack of conscience, from bitterness, racism, xenophobia, from intolerance and ignorance.
I am screaming but even louder they are screaming and no one listens, no-one that can and should make a difference.Do you understand, people are seeking refuge! REFUGE!!! Do we just not care enough? Is it just not close enough to home? Is it the wrong skin colour that we find easy to ignore? Are we really so shallow to choose which religion we help?Which child to save? Which mother we listen to?
The pictures of dead babies has not been enough, the pictures of freezing cold and wet mothers giving birth in a tent not enough. We have sat with the sole survivor of a shipwreck in my arms for 2 days ( 11 years old). I have held the bodies of 3 young babies as their father dug their grave in Samos. We have lifted the body of a 10 year old boy out of the water 10 days after his little body was lost at sea. I can tell you all the stories of rape, torture, murder, displacement, fear and death that we listen to each night. We can reiterate to you the indomitable resilience, bravery and sheer fight to survive we witness daily in the camps... but will that even be enough ?
Yes, today I despair. This last week alone we have had 3 suicide attempts in the camp in Samos, The most recent being a Palestinian single father of 3 children. He has been in the camp for months now with little or no information on his future or the future of his children. What parent could watch his children suffer for months on end, after survivng war, dangerous sea crossings and who knows what other terrors, without any sign of an end, any sign of compassion coming forward or even a start at an asylum process to which he can plan refuge, sanctuary and safety for his 3 young children. Death, leaving behind his children as orphans seemed to him his only chance of getting them heard, getting them help... allowing them a life.
We have booked our tickets to return, to do something, anything we can to help. To add more band-aids to an abyss but we wont stop trying. We will be louder, angrier and more front-line than ever. We will beg, shout, plead for help, for notice, for conscience and for humanity...
We ( all of us ) need help .