We’re in Athens!
Yesterday we visited an old school which has been squatted by 300 Syrian refugees, then headed to the port to meet the most amazing families who have been living in tents there for months…
We met the most cuddly little boy in the school whos father and 4 year old brother had drowned on the crossing from Turkey. Not only does he now sleep on the floor of an old classroom, he sleeps there harbouring the trauma he has had to experience already, even at such a young age. He sleeps there next to his grieving mum, alone with only three of four her children, who says she is ‘tired, so tired…’
At the port we met the most charming teenage boys who laid a blanket down for us to sit on and insisted on sharing their biscuits with us. The only food they have comes from sporadic donations, so we tried to refuse, but it was impossible (we should have learnt by now!)
These two boys spoke multiple languages and were smiley and open, despite living alone in these tents, not knowing what to do or where to go next…
I’m constantly struggling with the fact that I’m here with my own two little brothers, and we flew here, and this week we will fly to Turkey, making the same journey these guys paid their life savings to make in a rubber dinghy.
We can head back to England whenever we want to, but these boys face every single obstacle imaginable to get to the same destination. Closed borders, squalid conditions, police brutality, life-threatening decisions, smuggler,s hunger, disease and fear.
It just doesn’t make sense. What did we do? What did they do? Why is this happening? Why is it like this? I don’t get it.
All I do understand is that we have a collective responsibility. It’s not fair that some live in abundance without a thought to those who don’t. We need to do what we can, use our resources, our passion, our voices, to work towards something more equal. I don’t know the answers, I don’t know exactly how, or exactly when, but I do know that it needs to happen…
We’re in this together…The Worldwide Tribe.