Keeping refugees safe in the Greek sea: by April Humble

Update posted by April Humble On Dec 10, 2015

In the last few weeks, we have incredibly reached 10,000euro to help refugees stay safe in their perilous journeys. THANK YOU! Thank you to every single one of you that has donated, we have been making the world of difference to individual lives, my and their gratitude cannot be expressed enough xxx

Though, of course the problem doesnt end here, and the struggles and brutal realities continue. If you believe in this campaign, please share it with anyone you know that might be interested. All the thanks again in this tense times we live in xxx we can begin to change things together as long as we don't give up x

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Update posted by April Humble On Nov 27, 2015

Its payday! woohoo! And to be brutally honest, our funds to help keep refugees alive when they cross from Turkey are almost finished. And this petrifies me. I will not talk about how many deaths I have heard in the last few days alone of innocent people, because they did not have something simple like a life jacket. I will ask you to spare something- anything you can- so we can work to helping more people not loose their life to the sea whilst trying to seek safety. Rough seas are here and it is getting worse. Please give what you can xxxx thank you all for your support

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Update posted by April Humble On Nov 18, 2015

2 days ago 17 people died on one boat- half kids, 9 on another. Rough seas are here, the challenges and dangers have changed. Most of you gave when I first started my campaign at the beginning of Sept. I challenge you to all match this, and give the same again. My funds are almost dry, and me and my friend are still the only ones doing this- literally life saving work- in Turkey; trying to do all we can to make sure that those who make the crossing do so alive. We need your help.

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Update posted by April Humble On Nov 18, 2015

2 days ago 17 people died on one boat- half kids, 9 on another boat. Rough seas are here, the challenges and dangers have changed. Most of you donated at the beginning of September. I challenge you match this, and give the same again. Must funds are almost dry, and myself and my friend are still the only ones doing this- literally life saving work- working in Turkey to help people stay safe as they make the crossing. We need your help.

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Update posted by April Humble On Oct 12, 2015

Winter is coming now, seas are getting rough, fatalities are increasing. I am switching to focus to keeping people alive in the water.

My friends in Turkey have told me many refugees have decided to try cross in the coming weeks before the really bad winter arrives. Many are leaving now- boats even more overloaded- in already rough seas. The fatalities are likely increasing, and are likely to surge in the coming weeks.

The governments are doing nothing more to help keep people alive at sea. It is critical that we do something instead.

We need help keep people safe in the crossing. This includes from increasing the search efforts at sea to distributing advise in Turkey (in various languages) of ways of keeping safe in bad weather (from having a copy of the Greek coast guard number on you, to making sure you have decent life jackets) as well as quick info on when storms are coming.

For more, please go to my GoFundMe page. Thank you xxx

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Update posted by April Humble On Oct 12, 2015

Winter is coming now, seas are getting rough, fatalities are increasing. I am switching to focus to keeping people alive in the water.

My friends in Turkey have told me many refugees have decided to try cross in the coming weeks before the really bad winter arrives. Many are leaving now- boats even more overloaded- in already rough seas. The fatalities are likely increasing, and are likely to surge in the coming weeks.

The governments are doing nothing more to help keep people alive at sea. It is critical that we do something instead.

We need help keep people safe in the crossing. This includes from increasing the search efforts at sea to distributing advise in Turkey (in various languages) of ways of keeping safe in bad weather (from having a copy of the Greek coast guard number on you, to making sure you have decent life jackets) as well as quick info on when storms are coming.

For more, please go to my GoFundMe page. Thank you xxx

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Update posted by April Humble On Sep 29, 2015

I have just arrived back in Berlin from Kos. What a place of tragedy and mayhem and filled with such courageous beautiful people arriving there.

People need shoes from their long treks across counties, so with your money I bought shoes, people need socks for warmth after arriving in the night, freezing cold and wet, so I bought many pairs of socks, people need rucksacks to carry their essential belongings with the, so I bought many rucksacks, everyone needs rain jackets as they have no homes and the winter is coming, so I bought hundreds of rain ponchos. When people were bored after waiting on this island for days with nothing and no where to go, with your money I sometimes gave them cash to go to a cafe with their mates, allowing them to feel normal again for a while. Having raised so much for you generous people, gave me the reason to go to Kos, which gave me the chance to have the honour to support refugees as they arrived on boats during the night, help people seek medical attention, to helping people sort their tickets to move on to Athens. In the mornings when people were waiting until late afternoon for the breakfast to arrive, I helped supply croissants, fruit and water to kids and parents.

I spent the last few days in and around Bodrum, one of the main leaving points for refugees going to Kos and the surrounding islands. The situation there is also tragic, but like Kos, there is a system in place for food and water distribution. I spent some time in the mountains where the refugees hide out before the are given their boat and life jackets by the people smugglers to cross to Europe. I met a group of 12 Pakistani men, who's boat were meant to take the boat to Kos that night. They never arrived.

The life jackets are a scam. Most of the time, they are filled with hard, plastic form, which at worst drags you down. Because of this, if possible, I want to turn my efforts to the sea, and keep people alive when crossing.

This will be a far bigger operation, which will take some time to see if it is feasible, and if it is, your funds can help start. But I will need much more, so keep sharing as you like.

Thank you all so so much for your support xxxxx it has made this possible and to help ease peoples first steps in Europe in their brutal and epic journeys.

Much love to you

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Update posted by April Humble On Sep 21, 2015

Things have begun to function very well on Kos, but nothing is stable here- the situation is constantly changing, especially with the fluctuating number of refugees arriving. But we can provide water, food, tents and clothes. This is because of people like you donating. Words cannot express how valuable this is xx

I spent last night on night watch- cycling up and down the beach looking for boats. One tiny boat had around 40 people on it, and another a 15day old baby.

They are so happy to have made the crossing alive (a lot didn't in the last few days) and the water and food and warm clothes we can provide them is incredible. Also, the smile and open welcome, and the assurance of being safe when they are here is more than priceless, after their terrifying journeys and often weeks spent waking at the Turkish coast, often being abused by people smugglers with no one to help them there. You can see the incredible relief in the eyes and smiles.

I spent a lot of the last few days with an extended Afghani family and several beautiful Syrian families, babies to grandmothers included. All so vulnerable, all so grateful. Sometimes they don't know really what hello is, and they just say 'thank you, thank you, thank you'. And that is aimed to you guys for making this possible.

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Update posted by April Humble On Sep 18, 2015

Just a quick update to say that we have arrived and have truly hit the ground running.

There is not as many refugees here as a few weeks ago, but there is still endless people arriving- especially during the nights- dozens of Pakistanis arrived in one boat last night, and a family of 13 Afghans. I spend the night at the port waiting for boats to arrive to receive people, which is intense and long but necessary when people are arriving cold and wet and disorientated (I had planned to sleep in a tent but had given it away with the first arrival of families).

Now we have scoped out what is exactly needed on the ground, we are about to go a big bulk buying of shoes, sleeping bags, etc. We will also a car to do more night watches along the coast for people arriving.

It is amazing sitting out at night with Afghanis, Sudanese, Pakistanis, Syrians, sharing epic stories of survival and what they left behind, under the Greek starry night... all open, welcoming, smiling. Good good people.

Thanks all for the support again, it is really really needed here

xxx

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Update posted by April Humble On Sep 09, 2015

Just to let you know, I will be in the Southern Reporter tomorrow, and supplements over the weekend. I was also in the Independent last Monday and the Yorkshire post too. Keep your eye out and spread the word, we need as much people to know of the situation and needs on the islands as possible ;)

THANK YOU! xx

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April Humble

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I am a 29yr old Scottish female, living in Berlin. I work with issues around climate change and the social impacts of climate change. I have worked with refugees in the past: I volunteered with the Refugee Council in the UK, as well as South Yorkshire Refugee Law and Justice. I also worked in Istanbul with Amnesty International, and at the time travelled Jordan and Syria during the beginning of the uprising. I am from the Scottish Borders, studied at Leeds Beckectt, and before migrating to Berlin 3 years ago.

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