Update 2: The Syrian Refugee crisis
This image shows you the most direct route to take if you walk from Aleppo, in Syria, to Budapest, in Hungary, via Serbia. It is 2,433km across a mix of paved roads, dirt tracks, open country, hills, valleys, rivers, and, oh yes, the Bosphorus… It is generally acknowledged that a healthy adult, on flat even terrain, can manage approximately 5.5km/h for several hours. In this case, you are on uneven ground, carrying all of your possessions in bags, and often with children and the elderly in tow. Lets be generous and call the reality 3km an hour, and pretend that this could be maintained for 6 hours per day – leaving time for blockades, re-routings, looking for food, and the need to find shelter of an evening.
What does that mean?
Well, that is 810 hours of walking, or 135 days, or 4.5 months, EVERY… SINGLE… DAY… That is not something you do for fun, or merely for ‘a better deal’. Even for those within the refugee migration who were not under immediate threat of physical danger, they have suffered years of a total absence of employment opportunities, of the near total destruction of all hospitals and medical facilities nationwide, of the destruction or closure of the entire education system. Any savings people had built up, gone. Any supplies people had stockpiled, used. Any skills people had acquired, worthless. No schools, no medicine, no jobs, no hope.
… and that is what Europe is for these people. Not a promise, but simply a hope. A hope to find a better life, to have the opportunity to apply themselves in an environment where they can make something of themselves, and a chance to provide safety and a future for their children.
I believe that regardless of our own individual circumstances, we nevertheless live extraordinarily privileged lives relative to the vast majority of the human population. That if we have the ability to act then we have the obligation to act.
Winter is upon us, and we desperately need blankets and sleeping bags, clothes and shoes, medicine and food. Migrants have been moved away from major population and tourist centres. The mainstream media, ever fickle, has moved on to other topics… but the refugees are still here, and things are getting worse, not better. Please help us to help them. The donation page will stay open for a couple more weeks, and as before, I personally will match your donations, euro for euro.