The Refugee Support Express – 15 February 2018
Welcome to the Refugee Support Express
A mile in my shoes – Yazan’s story
This is Yazan’s story, transcribed from an interview conducted last May.
This is the story of Yazan’s journey. Unedited. Uncorrected. Uncut.
These are Yazan’s own words, and this is his own voice:
My name is Yazan
I’m from Syria. From Damascus. I’m 20 years old. Army age.
If I had stayed in Syria, I would have been made to fight. If you go now to Syria, you don’t find guys in the street. Because all the guys are fighting.
All my friends, some of them stayed, and some of them are in prison. We don’t know who is dead. Prison in Syria is underground. If the police take me, I don’t know where I’ll go. I don’t know where I am now. And also my family don’t know where I am. Nobody knows where I am.
The police take my father, one year, in prison. When he get out of the prison, he cannot work. Now he cannot work. He is sick, but he don’t do anything…The police take my father. You cannot tell with any person if the person is with the army or with the police.
My place in Damascas there is safe. Not safe safe, but it’s ok if you can living there because no war fighting, just bombs.
I get out of Syria. After that I went to Turkey. For work. But it’s very very very difficult to work there. I was working for 14 hours for little of money. Work work work work. This is 14 hours I have just break of ten minute, or fifteen minutes. Just, this is my break. Just Syrian people working like this as well. This is ‘cause I get out of Turkey.
When you in the centre of the sea you don’t see anything, just water, and too much people in the boat. Seventy peoples in the boat. It’s dangerous, really, it’s very very very very dangerous. To many this is a place, it’s in the border, and you must go to there. But when I get to the border, was is closed. Every time I’m always hear the border, that the border will open. This is why I stay in Idomeni four and a half month.
I cannot tell you how was the life there, really. It’s very very very difficult, like for fifteen thousand people because too much too much people. You tent, see small tents everywhere. If the sky is raining, your tent inside everywhere it’s water. You wake up of the sleep and your clothes is wet, it’s water. And your bag also it is water. Everything is water.
I see child, it’s small. Maybe seven years old. He was playing up the train, and he take the electricity. When he touch the electricity, it catch him. He’s dead.
Long time and hell life, but, I know that God is with me every time. That God show me the life is easy. I know the God every time is with me and the God in my head. Always. And in my eyes. Always.
Standing with refugees podcast
For this week’s podcast, Paul spoke to Tracey Samuel, the talented designer, owner and founder of the gorgeous Bonniemob brand – a Brighton-based family business that designs and sells kids clothes around the world.
The Bonniemob clothing isn’t just sturdy, spirited and adorable, but is helping to aid refugees with dignity around Europe. In 2016, Tracey decided to make a change by stranding with refugees – drawing on her talent of designing and selling clothes to create a beautiful charity collection to support refugees fleeing around Europe.
Working with her friend Molly (Selfish Mother) the collection has raised almost a staggering £10,000 for Refugee Support. This is a true testament to how a small idea can grow into something huge, and how businesses, customers and refugees can all benefit by standing together.
The Bonniemob’s generous work is not over yet. In this podcast, Tracey gives us a sneaky insight into plans for her new collection. The new range of cotton and cashmere clothes is due to be drop at the end of 2018 – but you can still purchase this seasons collection now. £10 or £20 from each item goes to supporting refugees.
Thank you to Bonniemob, Selfish Mother and all of their loyal customers for their continued support. We can’t wait to see what they create next, and encourage you to check out their adorable Instagram account in the meantime.
Subscribe today to our weekly podcasts today so that you never miss one.
Hummus for Hope
Our volunteers at Refugee Support Europe are not afraid to get creative when it comes to finding solutions and ways of raising vital funds to support refugees – but this is one of the quirkiest ideas we’ve come across so far.
In partnership with Dennis Rael from Los Bagels in Arcata, CA, our volunteer Anne Braak-Katz has managed to raise a whopping $500 for refuges by selling ‘Hummus for Hope’ – yes, you heard us right, hummus. Great work Anne and Dennis! Anne is at Katsikas now on her second tour of volunteering where she can see how important these funds are.
Do you have a fun or quirky fundraising idea that you’d like to try out? Perhaps you’d like to give something up for lent in aid of refugees, or to organise a sponsored Easter egg hunt? Get in touch with us today to see what you can do to help.
Thank you for reading, and we’ll see you next time.
Please contact us today at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in volunteering, making a donation, or just want to get in touch.