First off, in response to my last post, yes I did make those calls. But before I had finished making them the Afghan lads had met other Afghan lads who had informed them of the French Charity that offers them showers, and sometimes a little food. But some of the Guys are still sleeping outside. Some have ventured to Calais. Calais, the camp where changes are happening, where Refugees/Migrants are being dispersed around France. The Authorities wish to drastically reduce the R/M population there. It could be a tricky operation. I hope it isn’t. I hope somehow we come together and solve the situation calmly-somehow.
So a bike ride from Cherbourg South to Coutances. Coutances wasn’t my destination. The journey just happened to end there. Bike broke. Tent leaked. Common sense prevailed. Bike, trailer, tent and blow up mattress were gratefully received by a charity shop. (I told them the tent was a fair weather tent. Not to be used outside of the summer).
Cherbourg is believed to have the second largest artificial harbour in the World. Cherbourg was the second to last stopover for the Titanic before it infamously sank in the Atlantic Ocean. And it’s famous for its film, “Les Parapluies de Cherbourg”-The Umbrellas of Cherbourg.
Coutances has a very impressive Cathedral.
Events in the waters between Western Turkey and the Greek Islands seem to be worsening(?). The Refugee influx seems to be increasing. The weather is getting colder, the seas rougher. People are dying. People are starving. People are extremely uncomfortable…and are looking for help.
Charities are there, NGO’s are there, the local population is there, scores of volunteers are there…all helping, hugely. But it doesn’t seem to be enough. Not nearly enough.
Many Refugees driven onto the trail by war. If the wars stopped the trail could slow down…but only if the Refugees could be well catered for where they stop. And this catering doesn’t seem to be happening, well enough.
If Turkey was given help to improve radically its reception centres. If Greece was given help to radically improve their centres, if Macedonia, if Hungary, if Austria…the list is long.
We have the added problem of inadequate infrastructure on the Refugee trail. We have the added problem of resentment and hate towards the Refugees in certain countries.
Say the wars carry on, could we build excellent Reception Centres quick enough to allow the trail to slow? Could we build them well enough to give the Refugee Population the hope and trust needed in their immediate future’s-to slow down on the trail?
Could we calm and adequately convince the doubters and haters that just for now, to save lives, we need to come together for the immediate present moment, knowing that the future still has to be catered for?
To build the structures, to acquire adequate facilities, to provide warmth, health facilities, food, clothes, water and resources it all take time and money. I think most of us accept that.
But on the money point. Back in September of this year an Egyptian billionaire said he was ‘prepared’ to spend $200,000,000 on buying and fitting out a Greek Island to house Refugees. As far as I can see, (and I could easily be wrong) his plan has not hatched as yet. Along with his $200,000,000 others had pledged to add their own gifts. It came up to $300,000,000, and that was a month or so ago.
$300,000,000 is a lot of money. Think how that could be spent on Refugee Facilities from Greece to Sweden, and above and around.
If we could slow the trail down, get the smugglers to play fair game, find a way to placate Refugee ‘hate’, and ‘still’ the wars carried on, we ‘could’ begin to contain this mess. But we have to want to do it. With Refugee ‘hate’ apparent it will be made more difficult. Without it, our job would be so much easier.
Open the borders? Would this make things easier? Maybe. But if we don’t open the borders, pay the smugglers off, (yes, radical, not at all necessary, but worth talking about I think) and bring ‘desperate’ Refugees across safely to safety into exceptionally well built, managed and fitted out Reception Centres the borders don’t necessarily need to be opened-yet.
Am I be totally unrealistic? In my world I don’t think so. The bottom line is is that if Humanity wants to do something-it can do it.
We have thousands of desperate people who are in need of excellent Reception if they are to survive on the trail or continue on the trail.
As an example, as I mentioned above we have one man ‘potentially’ willing to spend $200,000,000 on buying a Greek Island for the Refugees.
‘I’ say, Naguib Sawiris Sir, would you be willing to spend this money NOW on helping radically bolster the Reception these Refugees desperately need now? If you are unable to, unwillingly to, it does at least show that there is the potential for this to happen, that someone, ONE person has considered a massive financial gesture.
Do we want to solve the Refugee Crisis now? Because however difficult it might seem and however easy it is to say it-We can if we want to.