The refugee crisis, to me, is a humanitarian crisis that could be resolved without the pain and suffering that the refugees are being subjected to.
If every ‘true’ human being (and by that, I mean a person who accepts that we are all people, who have an equal right to all aspects of life, from whatever country or culture) accepted one new person into ‘their world’, in their country, their street and if each ‘true’ human were to share 1% of what they had, to that one person, in one moment in time….say right NOW….. what could they give? 1% of their clothes, food, water, blankets or duvets, the equivalent of 1% of their home ie shelter, 1% of their educational or work opportunities and 1% of what was in their bank account and savings … you get the picture, then how much richer would the world be…how much more equal and how much less pain and suffering. I am disabled and am privileged, because I was born in tis country, to receive benefits to help with my needs like having a wheelchair and aids to get me around the house more easily. It is not an easy life on benefits…I used to be a manager earning a very good salary before I became ill and the difference in my standard of living is shocking, but I have come to realise that I don’t need al the things I had when I was earning that great wage. Sure I would love to be able to get to Panama again, something I haven’t been able to do since becoming ill because on benefits, quite rightly, you cant afford trips abroad, but, actually, I still have enough money to eat, have help with my housing so have a roof over my head, barely manage but I do manage the exorbitantly thieving utility charges in this country, and I still have 1% to be able to give to another person needing it. I don’t smoke, don’t drink, don’t go out much, don’t clothes shop or spend money on useless items I don’t need (apart from chocolate!). I am not the only one. Over the last few months I have met so, so many people doing their bit….but I wonder why it is so often the people who have suffered some crisis themselves, who have a limited income, who have to budget to manage, who have nothing much, but still give.
Running the collections for the refugees in North Devon I have had people say to me, so many times, ‘I am sorry I haven’t got more to give’, but these people are all so generous and not only with what they are giving materially, but also their time. A lady apologised to me this week as she donated, what she described as, ‘just’ two bags, but then gave three hours of her time doing extremely tough work in sorting other donated items in the warehouse where we are collecting items to go to the refugees in Calais and other European countries. I have been totally overwhelmed by the generosity of people supporting our groups work for the refugees…people who may have nothing much to give, do give their valuable time to sort, to collect, to sing in a band and raise money doing gigs, to run little coffee mornings etc to raise money.
I try not so see the people looking for ways to make a few £’s for themselves out of this crisis, but sadly they are there….I like to see the best in people and thankfully, there are enough people that are ‘true’ humans for me to be proud again of this country again. In the past few weeks I have personally seen, in North Devon, schoolchildren doing projects to learn more about the wars that the refugees are running from, a young man setting up and organising a local march to welcome refugees to our town, people who are unable to do a great deal physically through ill health sorting food donations and toiletries ready to be given out by our group travelling to Calais, older people and young sorting and collecting and wonderfully I have made some of the best friends I could have imagined…all in one place, as ‘like minded’ people have got together in teams working for a common goal….to make a little difference in the world…. giving their 1% of everything they have physically got, and 100% of their hearts.