I have been so moved by the images and stories of the current migrant crisis. I find it gut-wrenching that people are forced to flee their homes, their lives, their families, taking precarious risks to get themselves and their children to safety. The dangers that many Syrian families are willing to put themselves through tells you a little something about the horrors of their homeland, only we will never fully understand will we? Because we are unable to comprehend upheaval of that scale, we can't get our heads round feeling unsafe in our own homes, it seems so remote, so unthinkable. It's a basic human right isn't it? Isn't it?
For the most part the governments of the world are avoiding the subject, hoping it will go away and the media (again for the most part) are complicit in drumming up the xenophobic air that is so weirdly prevalent in our society, so strangely 'oh let's just put the kettle on shall we' normal.
It sometimes takes a defining image to wake you up and remember that but for the grace of god you could be in that position too. What would you do, how far would you go to get your family, your children to safety? This image by photographer Daniel Etter is the moment I knew I had to do something. This man is Laith Majid and his face tells the story that we should all be forced to hear.
I got a bit fed up of my inert sobbing over the plight of our fellow human beings and instead have decided to do something. How could I help? What could I do to really make a difference?The answer of course lies in crochet (what else?). And so I'm raffling off my gorgeous Bon Bon Blanket and donating the money to Medecins Sans Frontieres who are currently operating three boats in the Mediterranean trying to ensure desperate travellers make it to safety.
You can donate here. Each pound of donation representing a 'ticket' so to speak. After the closing date one winner will be picked from all the lovely people who donated meaning that we all get to 'do something' with one person getting to do something and get a woolly reward for it too. Yahoo!
MSF are not the only charity doing brilliant work for the crisis, lots of the big guys are working hard to get the refugee camps ready for winter but there are also people on the ground in Calais doing important stuff right now. The main group being Calais Migrant Solidarity but there are other UK based groups and lovely people hiring vans and doing runs down to Calais laden with helpful stuff too. If you want to get involved please check the list of needed stuff first.
Unicef - a donation of £11 could provide a displaced Syrian family with an emergency water kit.
Save the Children - a donation of £50 could provide two hygiene kits complete with soap, toothbrushes and towels.
British Red Cross - a donation of £30 could provide much needed mats (28 of them) for sleeping on and keeping warm, these mats will be essential with winter coming.
The raffle is live right now, the closing date is Friday 9th October at 6pm GMT and the winner will be picked randomly after that time, international entries are welcome but please note that you MUST provide an email address when you donate so that I can get in touch with you. Please buy a ticket (donate) and share this post all over the bloody place so that we can raise as much as possible. Thanks so much.
ps. Laith Majid got his family to safety, they are currently in Berlin.