Ever since the continuous migration movements across Europe started to increase throughout the course of 2015 we have been witnessing Europe’s incompetence to prevent a major humanitarian crisis. Instead of watching from afar the Pangaea Project has been actively showing humanitarian solidarity by providing refugees with basic necessities across Europe.
Since last September Pangaea Project members have been involved in rescuing boats, cooking soup, distributing blankets, raising financial means, providing information, warmth, food and hope for tens of thousands of people. Trying to put a human face to the Balkan route, we have been witnessing the daily scenes along the Balkan route in Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia and on the Greek islands Lesbos and Chios. Particularly on Chios, we have been supporting the local Rescue Team throughout the winter months as well as setting up longterm infrastructures for daily food distributions. It has been fun, it has been tragic. The support we have been experiencing from people back home and the Pangaea Network has been incredible. With the refugee crisis in Europe only just at its beginning we will continue with our work throughout the summer.
Given the scale of the crisis, you might expect significant professional support structures but for some unknown reasons — lack of resources, state resistance, EU immigration policy – there are severe shortcomings. Today there are people in need of basic humanitarian aid, and for as long as this remains the case with no acceptable political solution to this major humanitarian crisis we will continue with our revolution of compassion. While our work is limited to the material and financial donations we receive, we invite everyone to be part of this endeavour and donate their time, money and compassion! We rely entirely on donations from private individuals; the money raised is carefully used to mainly buy food, water, clothes and hygiene articles but also longterm investments such as cooking equipment, tents and other supplies needed by people on the run. We do not discriminate based on nationality, religion, gender, age, sexuality or socio-economic status but support people with the necessities required for them to survive another night.
Thank you for your solidarity!
Impressions from Europe:
Slovenian-Croation Border Crossing: ”We found ourselves standing and mediating between Slovenian military equipped with tanks and machine guns and people traveling with plastic bags. The nights were extremely cold while people were forced to wait out in the open space until they started their kilometre long march to the nearby registration camp. We secretly tried to provide as many people with blankets, dry cloths and food as well as basically anything that would burn in order to keep the people warm.”
Serbo-Croation Border Crossing: ”The first days and nights were particularly horrible: It was freezing cold and often rained while thousands of people were deprived of their basic human needs and lacked access to aid including water, food, access to sanitary facilities, clothes and blankets which were only available in insufficient amounts or non-existent as people waited outside for hours for the border crossing to open. We handed out hot tea, dressed people, built up tents and informed people about what was happening but it was just not enough. Having to refuse help to people in need was amongst the hardest parts. Looking back it is just one big blur but I remember desperately wrapping chidden suffering from mild hypothermia into emergency blankets and stealing the police’s coffee water for hot bottles for the children.”
Lesbos, Greece: ”The effect on the island is visible at every corner. If it is the life jackets which are found everywhere along the island, or boat wrecks on the shores and in the harbors, waiting refugees in the harbor and in Mytilini. Talking to all those refugees with little to very good English skills was the most exciting and interesting of these two weeks. I got amused by the size of families with over ten members and impressed by the challenge parents are facing with trying to escape the war with five little kids. In calm moments we found time to look for a little toy or a sweet in the storage rooms to give to kids and bring a smile on their face.”
Chios, Greece: ”We have been involved in rescuing, providing dry clothes, cooking, shopping and distributing food, blankets, warmth and hope for a good twenty-some thousand people. It has been an extremely rich and inspiring time; yet the true tragedy of this major humanitarian crisis was present every very moment.”
Donations are still very welcome, desperately needed and much appreciated. The associations donation account is pleased about donation of any kinds, which go 100% beyond borders. As cliche as it sounds, even the smallest amount already makes quite a difference.
Account holder: Pangaea Deutschland e.V.
Payment reference: Refugee Relief + postal address (German charitable donation certificate)
(All pictures taken by the International Volunteers)