What are we going to do now? It’s a question we have been asking ourselves for the past week. After we witnessed our brothers and sisters lose their shelters, their belongings, their livelihoods to the fires that burnt Moria camp to ashes. Forced onto the streets. Desperately trying to adapt to their new reality.
What are you going to do now? It’s a question that has been posed to us by the public. By our friends and family. By our colleague NGOs on the ground. By our resident friends - the men, women and children we have come to know and love in and around Moria camp. People urging us to take a stand. Do what’s right. Don’t do what’s wrong.
To be completely honest, it hasn’t been easy. Trying to take a stand. Trying to navigate right from wrong. Trying to make sure that dignity continues to guide every decision we make. We have reflected, we have mourned, we have discussed and we have concluded…
What is right and what is wrong? Who is right and who is wrong? It’s simply not that black and white. In this complex situation where the lives of human beings are at stake, taking decisions will never be easy. All we can do is listen to the voices of those desperate to be heard. All we can do is be honest about our capabilities, our expertise, our knowledge and offer a hand that is helpful.
Today, we take our stand. We demand the EU to take responsibility. We demand the EU to take accountability. We demand the EU to take action. To change their static and ineffective migration policies into sustainable, actionable and humane policies that put people at the centre. To find a permanent solution for ALL migrants. But as long as there is no permanent solution, we as Movement On The Ground will take responsibility, accountability and action. We will work on Lesvos as long as there are people living in inhumane conditions and need our support.
We will work in the new temporary camp, where almost 10,000 people will be sheltered because we can make sure the camp will become a more dignified place to stay. A place where we can cultivate our Camp to campUS philosophy with and for refugees. Where people can feel part of a community. Where talents, skills and opportunities are seen and used. Where there is trust and respect amongst refugees, the Greek community and our fellow NGO’s.
We will also fill in the gaps. For as long as we’re needed, we will provide emergency and immediate response to the people living on the streets. We will be there to offer a helping hand, a friendly smile and a warm heart.
Movement On The Ground doesn’t play politics, nor will we battle unwinnable fights. Movement On The Ground does not believe in refugee camps, nor the concept of imprisoning those on the move in inhumane conditions. But in being on the ground for five years, we dare to be realistic. We realise that this means accepting great criticism. We realise not all will back our decision. But the reality is, there are people on the streets, there are people in a new camp and there is still no confirmed and sustainable plan for relocation. That’s why Movement On The Ground will be there. Today, tomorrow and for however long we are needed.
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