I’d give more, but I have 2 cats to feed

Today, we donated €30 to a very important cause. It would have been more, but we have 2 cats to feed.

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It’s no secret that I hate injustice, although I think you’d have to be a pretty rubbish person if you enjoy it. I worry about things going on in the world, things that are too big for me to do anything about, things that have the power to wake me up at 3am and loose a couple of hours sleep over. I have been known to come home raging because there was something that could have been helped by a few people but for reasons unknown, said people declined to assist. I’ve put my own life in jeopardy to help others (and no, I’m not exaggerating – I walked into a fast flowing river, not knowing how deep it was to rescue a stranded 8 year old who could have drowned otherwise) and if space and money were no object, I’d happily turn our house into an animal rescue place.

All this being said, I’m not a millionaire that can throw huge amounts of money at issues and make an instant positive impact. I’m just one person, with an average life, an average salary and, to steal Q’s line from “Spectre”, two cats to feed. I do recognise the power of the collective, the power of lots of people, doing a little bit to help get to the end goal. This is where the rest of you come in.

Husband plays an online text based game, of which I have limited understanding but sounds like quite a bit of fun. He’s been playing it for over 10 years and as is the norm with online groups, you make friends and get to know your fellow players and users; one such person in this game is Shaun Gibson. Shaun lives in Sicily and when he’s not teaching English to Italians, he and his wife run a small immigrant centre called Mosaiko, in Mazzarino. This centre is for unaccompanied asylum seekers under the age of 18. The centre primarily focuses on the integration of these children, teaching them Italian, working with local schools to help form friendships allowing the kids at Mosaiko to volunteer at local summer schools.

15 days ago, Shaun got the horrendous news; the ports near Mazzarino will close to migrants. Funding is already difficult and will inevitably be cut, with devastating consequences for the children. No new unaccompanied under-18 asylum seekers will be assigned to the centre and will be sent to government run detention centres, to be deported.

These are children. They have no parents, no guardians, no family. They have no where safe to go back to. This is their last chance to integrate into a new life, safe from the atrocities they have fled from.

The centre needs to raise €100,000 of independent funding to stay open for another year to keep hosting these children and not be forced into detention centres. This work is vital; it is a humanitarian crisis right on our doorstep. We have all seen the news, we know what these children are fleeing and they have nothing to go back to. Children do not belong in detention centres simply for trying to survive.

If you can, please donate to the Go Fund Me appeal, any amount you can via this link: https://www.gofundme.com/immigrant-centre-sicily-italy – giving is secure, quick and simple. Shaun is posting updates so you can follow the centre’s progress and if you feel able, you can donate multiple times to help get the centre to their goal that bit quicker.

You can watch the video below to get an understanding of why this centre is so important and why it needs all our help.

 

 

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