Who Would You Turn To?
The situation is heartbreaking. Hundreds of thousands of refugees have fled their homes due to war and persecution in the desperate hope of finding safety and a better life for themselves and their families. Instead, what they found was human trafficking, abductions, detention, homelessness, abuse and even death. In Greece alone there are now around 120,000 refugees and migrants, 40% of whom are children. Around 4,700 of these children are unaccompanied (without an adult). Who would you turn to if this were your family?
The Story of Goodwill Caravan
Hanan Ashegh, who founded Goodwill Caravan in 2015, asked herself this very question. A mum and mental health practitioner, working in London; she was ironing her children’s uniforms while she watched news reports of the atrocities taking place in Syria and adjoining war-torn countries. She heard about the plight of missing children in refugee camps in Europe and she realised she could not stand by and watch any longer. She began her humanitarian journey by organising bulk aid distributions in the Calais Jungle refugee camp, and this quickly led to providing asylum support for the most vulnerable families. Today, our legal teams in the UK and Europe work closely together to reunify families separated on their difficult journey. Following the Dubs Amendment, Goodwill Caravan lawyers have worked tirelessly to support many families and unaccompanied minors reunite with their families.
In 2016 the horrifying image of the lifeless body of 3 year-old Syrian refugee Alan Kurdi shocked the world. Alan, his mother, his brothers and sisters had all drowned trying to reach the shores of Greece, so that they could make a new, safe, life in Europe. This senseless loss of life prompted Hanan to start Goodwill Caravan’s projects in Greece. Slowly, she has gained a dedicated team of humanitarians around her, who together have built Goodwill Caravan into an organisation that supports refugees right through their journey to safety. Just as we cannot watch our own children suffer, we cannot turn a blind eye to the unbearable plight of another parent’s child.
The Mission of Goodwill Caravan
We are now working round the clock to provide the most vulnerable refugees with a complete package of support. From the most basic practical necessities, to complex legal cases, our holistic approach is tailored to each individual child and family. Our mission is to empower refugees by giving them the skills and support they need to become fully functional members of their new societies, whether that is in Greece, the UK or other European countries. In doing so, Goodwill Caravan also aims to alleviate the burden on already overstretched public services in host nations such as Greece.
How You Can Help?
We know this pandemic has been difficult for everyone, but please, if you can, donate now to help refugees through this winter. If you are able to make a regular donation it enables us to deliver our services with more security. If everyone gives just a little bit, then by working together we can achieve a lot. Let’s spread warmth, hope and love this season. Let’s be the ones to say ‘we will help you’ to the child who finds themselves alone and extremely vulnerable at the end of an already perilous journey.
Spread the Word!
Finally, please share our social media posts with your friends and family. Let them know about the good work you support, so that we can spread the message about the plight of refugees in Europe. The more people we can reach, the greater the impact we can have.