I am sitting in the peace of my cosy home in Bristol appreciating the the feelings of warmth and safety, thinking how precious feeling safe is and contemplating my forthcoming mission.
I am a 38 year old Cornish woman with 15 years experience of working in international youth work and community permaculture and am committed to protecting and empowering young people.
Having recently been made redundant as a youth worker due to austerity measures in the UK, with time on my hands and a great resolve, I made the decision to offer my skillset to those who are suffering greatly on our doorstop… the children and families fleeing war and hardship arriving in Europe.
I am off to Greece tomorrow to to carry out some important research for Refugee Aid and also to volunteer as a youth worker and community gardener in Camp Sounio in the south of Greece.
I will be researching and documenting for Refugee Aid and I will be filming interviews along the way and writing this blog for them… so please follow this blog…
Refugee Aid have asked me to identify the capacity within organisations in Greece to receive two different forms of aid.
The first is to identify recipients of pallets of aid coming from Cornwall and identifying the specific aid need of those organisations, so that Refugee Aid can ensure they get the resources they need.
The second is to identify an organisation which has the capacity to site a container school from the Fonthill Foundation. The container is a fully equipped school and needs official legal permissions for siting, unloading and maintenance from national and local government.
I have already organised meetings in Athens on my arrival with people working for local organisations who support the refugee communities in Greece… sounding promising so far!
I will also be working with Earth Refugee who run a large camp in Sounio, alongside the Greek Navy and NGO A Drop In The Ocean. Here, with community support, I will be building the infrastructure for a productive fruit and vegetable garden, as well as doing youth work and play sessions with the kids.
I have a deep conviction to explore and understand what is happening to these children and their families and the ways in which we in the UK can support them and protect them.
Thank you for taking time to read this, it means you are keeping connected to the reality of the situation which millions are facing through no fault of their own. You are not turning away pretending things are fine… it is not fine, we all play a part in supporting these displaced communities, we can act together to create a solid network of support for refugees worldwide, preceding action is the attitude of compassion!
I am ready to leave tomorrow…
With a tool kit only of face paints , gardening gloves, trowels, paints and brushes, plasticene, water bombs and Frisbies (For Ultimate Frisbie Championships!!).
I go to be a friend to a few of the children and families of human wars and economically-enforced slavery, and to set up solid support networks to enable people to survive and to prosper – a right which all humans equally deserve.
Please support Refugee Aid as they continue to make a real difference to the lives of those in trauma and despair without a country, without language, without a Mum!
If you would like to contribute specifically to my work in Greece now please donate at GoFundMe.
Thank you on behalf of everyone your funds will support,