December 18th 2021
This year’s International Migrants Day is about the UN’s message of “harnessing the potential of human mobility“.
Everywhere in the world, wherever they find openness and support, migrants with their knowledge, networks and skills contribute to building stronger, more resilient societies.
This applies to a large extent to Europe – a continent where identity is based on freedom of movement and exchange across cultures and countries.
People are moving across the world for many reasons: it can be voluntary or out of necessity. Some move to find better opportunities, to study and work, but also to flee war and persecution. Others move as a result of climate change, or to be reunited with loved ones.
Migration is an important fact about humanity and the time and world we live in.
During the last six years of work along the migration routes in the Eastern Mediterranean, we have witnessed how perceptions of migration in political debates often do not reflect the reality we see.
We experience that in the countries of arrival, the vast majority of people are neither strongly against or in favour of welcoming newcomers to local communities. They simply have many different opinions and concerns about how international protection actually works and about its consequences.
Yet time and time again, we see that local communities show a great degree of solidarity, and act with all the means at their disposal, waiting for decision-makers to meet both the complex challenges but also the invaluable opportunities that migration provides.
In Greece, we have witnessed how several refugee communities are struggling to avoid isolation and homelessness, and how they are often challenged by bureaucratic processes, and the lack of basic services. A Drop in the Ocean contributes and give our support where we can.
But what we are all waiting for is to see solidarity, openness, understanding, dignified treatment, integration and assistance become the norm in our continent, Europe.
This is the motivation that governs our work, and this is the change we want to see come true.
In our programs and projects, we work with both the local communities and displaced people, and we all strive to do what we can to make a difference in each other’s lives.
Drop by drop, we will create an ocean of understanding for displaced persons, in a world where human rights are safeguarded and everyone is met with dignity and respect.