"The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil, but by those who watch them without doing anything."
Last summer, I went to Serres, Northern Greece for my 'grad trip'. I volunteered at Lifting Hands International where I taught dance to the youth and children, conducting fitness classes for the adults and helping out in their mobile library. My beneficiaries were the lovely Yazidi people who’ve been displaced bcuz of ISIS attacks.
Often, the portrayal of mainstream media makes their stories seem so distant, but having met, interacted and befriended these survivors, I know these stories are not just stories, but someone else’s actual lives. From being separated from their family and yet not able to be reunited yet; knowing that some of their brothers are working in the Iraq army to fight ISIS, a dangerous yet necessary job; their fight for survival and safety, walking 4D4N from turkey to Greece; losing mothers, daughters, sons and fathers, not knowing whether they’re alive, dead or held in captivity; to losing your home land and being caught in a state of limbo. We continue to keep in touch via fb msg, insta DMs and I watch the fb stories they upload, read the articles they share and am elated whenever I see that one of them has successfully sought asylum in Germany. Their social media posts are almost always hopeful, never berating their situation which again speaks volume of their tenacity and strength.
@helprefugeesuk reports that almost 18,000 refugees are now stuck on Greek islands and in dire conditions as it’s becoming a growing crisis with the current infrastructure incapable of sustaining it. I think Help Refugees UK is an amazing organisation, which is why I'm hosting this birthday fundraiser to help my Yazidi friends as well as the many refugees stranded in different parts of the world.
"Help Refugees provides aid and advocate for refugees. They support over 70 projects worldwide with funding, food, shelter and volunteers. Filling gaps left by governments and large NGOs, they respond to the genuine needs of refugees and displaced populations in a fast, flexible and empowering way."
I hope you can donate to help the children, mothers and fathers who just want to survive and live with dignity. Any amount would be great. Start the new year, by doing something for someone else :-) Thank you for reading.