Humanity comes firstLara Plandsoen
For clarification due to some unclarity here: your donations go straight to the NGO - I will cover all costs for flight tickets, food, transportation and accommodation myself.
In November and December I will depart to Lesvos to help people that have lost all they had left in the recent fires that burnt down 'camp Moria'; one of the already overpopulated refugee camps on the Greek island.
13.000 people were living in and around a camp meant for about 3.000. No access to proper shelter, food or hygiene. Not just for a few weeks or months as some think, but for years in a row.
All parties involved with the situation on the island are confronted with a devil's dilemma: long term solutions and/or structural improvements vs short term disaster relief. Politics aside; the fact remains that people in the 'camps' need help RIGHT NOW.
Regardless your opinion of how to solve the ongoing issues from a European perspective; you will agree with me that humanity comes first. We can not leave anyone in such inhumane circumstances.
This is why I am going there, to help out where I can, and this is why I ask you to show your support. Please make a donation to aid the organisation with whom I will volunteer - Movement on the Ground. Let's try and make the situation a little more humane.
I will cover all costs for flight tickets, food, transportation and accommodation myself - your donations go straight to the NGO.
Movement on the Ground needs money to ensure 13.000 people get food, basic hygiene, sleepingbags and a 'roof' above their heads (average winter temperatures on the island: 5-11 degrees Celcius).
Why this organization, why Movement on the Ground?
For whatever reason, unconscious bias is affecting all of us (yes, you and me included) when thinking about people that 'need our help'.
This often causes us to forget that, for example in the case of the mediterranian refugee situations, these are people with skill, ambition and plans for the future just as much as we are.
It's true, when in a situation like on Lesvos, people do indeed need help. Do realize though that reason you and me are able to help is not because we are smarter, more skilled or better in any other way, but because we have been dealt a luckier hand in life and are in a more comfortable situation right now.
What Movement on the Ground does is to not work FOR these people, but WITH them. Include residents of the refugeecamps on Lesvos in the running of the various projects, consult them for decision making. Ensure they feel empowered and valuable because they are. Together, we can work to improve their living conditions, maximise skills and increase the connection to their host community in Greece.
MotG is on a mission to provide a dignifid, innovative and sustainable response to the refugee crisis that benefits both refugees and host populations.
MotG's postion on the situation after the fire specifically:
Movement On The Ground doesn’t play politics, nor will we battle unwinnable fights. Movement On The Ground does not believe in refugee camps, nor the concept of imprisoning those on the move in inhumane conditions. But in being on the ground for five years, we dare to be realistic. We realise that this means accepting great criticism. We realise not all will back our decision. But the reality is, there are people on the streets, there are people in a new camp and there is still no confirmed and sustainable plan for relocation. That’s why Movement On The Ground will be there. Today, tomorrow and for however long we are needed.
For more information about the current situation:
- On the need for emergency help now (short article)
- What would you do? (short article)
- On the devil's dilemma (short article)
- Webinar on MotG's perspective (50 minute video)