Refugee Crisis in the Mediterranean
In the last several years millions of people have fled their homes in Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, and other countries due to war and violence. In fact, according to the UN, there are more than 60 million people displaced by war. Many of those refugees travel through Greece, Turkey, or Lebanon, often risking everything. When the refugees land they have nothing. The smugglers will most likely have stripped them of any assets and they cannot take bags onto the boats. They are probably only a third of the way through their journey to a new life... if they make it.
The Reality Of A Refugee: Families pick up in the middle of the night with only the clothes on their backs and a bag if they are lucky. Families are fleeing Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Syria and other countries in order to escape some of the most horrific violence that the world has ever seen. It usually takes the refugee 2-3 months to make their way through Turkey or Lebanon where the majority are left with little hope to find a way to make a new life there.
For others, those with more resources or connections, they will get on a boat and journey onward to Greece with the dream of reaching Europe. Refugees make deals with smugglers and traffickers in order to get out of the country they are fleeing from. The refugees give up everything; all material possessions, their dignity, and sometimes their lives. Violence, abuse, and rape are all harrowing aspects of the perilous journey that many of the women and even men have to face. Then the most perilous leg of their journey begins. Packed into rubber dinghies and boats families make their way across the increasingly dangerous waters of the Aegean Sea to the Greek Islands. Most families live through the journey, but many do not.
An enormous number of women and families are arriving in Greece and Turkey with PTSD and in extremely poor health with medical conditions, pregnant, hungry, and traumatized. Earlier in 2016 all borders were closed leaving 100,000s of people desperate for a new life with no where to go. Families are put into military style camps or prisons and are left to languish with little support and little hope.
How We Hope To Help: Our main goal is to help ensure that women and newborns receive care wherever their long and arduous journey has taken them. Midwife Pilgrim volunteers provide risk screening, treatment when we can, gentle hands, and respite. Currently there are several NGOs on the ground providing general medical care at the camps – but there is a lack of consistent competent midwifery care or reproductive health care services. We plan to fill this gap with midwives who can ensure women receive the care they need. We also aim to train health workers in order to build an ongoing capacity for women’s health care within the various organizations working hard to provide services. Our program in Turkey includes outreach to families who do not have the funds to continue further and will be staying in Turkey - many of them without jobs or resources and living in conditions that are heartbreaking.
How You Can Help: Our mission in Greece, Turkey, Lebanon, and Iraq, is to make the world a better place for the women and families that have given up everything in order to survive. Our top priority is raising funds to be able to bring the relief to the ground and to continue with support as long as we are needed. This humanitarian effort is being put forth by small organizations just like ours. Community support is what we need more than anything.
There are many ways to help:
Financial Donations (tax deductible)
Donate your time (Fundraising, online help, support, ideas, etc)
Join our team and come to Greece or Turkey
Please consider a donation to help us purchase these supplies:
Solar Puff Lights (donate to: https://www.crowdrise.com/alamalforallonelight)
Safe Birth Kits
Hand Held Ultrasound
Neonatal Resuscitation Equipment
Sutures and Suturing Equipment (general and obstetric)
If you would like to join us on our journey to make the world a better place for women and families please contact us.
Donations made by check should be made payable to "Midwife Pilgrim" and sent to:
600 Elm Street, Montpelier, VT 05602
All donations are 100% tax-deductible as provided by law of section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.