Hey wonderful readers!
This post isn’t about the great outdoors or my new favourite hiking boots, but bear with me.
I recently travelled to the island of Lesvos to write an article, and whilst there I met some of the many refugees waiting to catch boats to mainland Greece, aiming eventually to get to Germany. I chatted to families and played with a little girl as she waited to board a ferry to Athens. I heard about their journeys and their hopes for a brighter future.
I also learned about the wonderful residents of Lesvos who are helping the refugees who are still arriving every day. The man who goes down to the port to cook food for people in the evenings. The local grandmothers helping to look after refugee children. The men and women leaving water bottles at strategic points for anyone thirsty to drink.
One of the scariest things we came across was a crumpled, washed-up lifeboat, which looked more like a child’s blow-up swimming pool than a vessel. It was a fragile plastic lifeline that would strike terror into the heart of anyone forced to climb aboard, or worse, put their children out to sea in it.
So. Christmas is a time to think of others, don’t you reckon? Especially in the midst of the biggest refugee crisis Europe has seen since the Second World War.
I have donated all of my fee for the article I wrote about Lesvos to Migrant Offshore Aid Station, who are dedicated to preventing migrant deaths at sea.
If you’d like to help too, you could donate to MOAS or one of many other fantastic organisations: Save the Children distribute essential items such as diapers, Red Cross Europe provide emergency health services, the International Rescue Committee set up camps and basic services.
If you’d like to help in other ways, the Independent has a great article on how to volunteer, fundraise or aid grassroots groups.
So why not give a little bit (a fiver, after all, is only the price of a nice cocktail, a tenner is only a lunch out) too? Think of it as one more Christmas present.
Main image via MOAS