What does cultivating justice look like? Especialy for places far away? Recently I’ve been talking on Instagram a lot about a small Grecian island, Lesbos (Lesvos), in the Aegean Sea where the Moria Refugee Camp caught on fire. What does cultivating justice look like from here, to there?
Subject: Moria Refugee Camp
As the Syrian War continues, refugees have fled here as a cross-point to escape Asia. In a UN camp built to hold less than 3000 people, it has grown to be an indefinite stopping point for around 13,000 people as they wait their amnesty status. Currently, 70% of these refugees are from Afghanistan, but in total, represent 70 countries. They’ve been in lockdown because of COVID19, which hasn’t helped the situation. A yesterday and the day before three fires broke out, destroying the camp. (Learn more in my video here)
“Sow the wind and reap the whirlwind.” This quote is a bell that resounds and reverberates deeply. It is from an ancient prophet, Hosea, about living without justice.
Sowing injustice cultivates a storm.
Oh, my fellow advocates, how true is this. Just look around at the whirlwinds!
Two days ago I received news about this fire that ravaged a refugee camp. Not only have these families already had to flee war and live in poverty, but even that temporary home is now destroyed. It is hard to comprehend thirteen thousand people sleeping in fields.
A challenge of globalization is the weight it creates; it settles on our shoulders. But friend, this weight will crush us, especially if we carry it alone.
We cannot plant seeds of justice where we cannot reach. However, occasionally we discover we can reach in unexpected places and help other rise.
Listen! Questioning what is impossible cultivates impossibilities to unfold! Even just knowing if we have something to give (emotionally? spiritually? physically? time? money? voice?) opens realms! It loosens doors!
Cultivating justice is more about willingness and creativity than it is about reversing a storm. It is about rows of order and splashes of beauty. Justice is a garden in the middle of a tornado.
When it comes to the Moria Refugee Camp, I am not sure how to act, or even if there is a way to act that is right for me. But if nothing else, I can gaze across the distance and riffle through my smattering of gardening seeds and tools.
Experience has taught me that when we awaken dreams for something lovely and good, one of us will put a shovel in the ground and another will hook up their plow. Just like that, a garden begins to form.
How have you seen justice cultivated different areas?
How You Can Help the Moria Refugee Camp
If you’d like to figure out what the Moria Refugee Camp is, why people are stuck there, how these fires were started and how we can respond, you aren’t the only one! I am just figuring this out too! From what I’ve found out from news sources, people who’ve been there and nonprofits, this is what I’ve learned here (a conversational video about it). One thing that is good is the governement of Greece became willing to bring 400 unaccompanied children out of the Lesbos, and are putting them in shelters in Greece.
Watch this #JusticeDaily video here
When We Band Together is the organization on the ground I am referring to (who I was referred to by We Welcome). In this video I didn’t know as much about them, but since then I’ve talked a little with them online and have learned a little more to vet them. I see that they are rising people up. They are already a nonprofit in Greece, as When We Band Together Hellas and are currently taking donations on the USA side via a crowdfunding platform as they wait on their own 501c3 papers in the Unites States to be approved. They are partner wtih Kara Tepe refugee camp (also in Lesvos) to deliver aid.
Currently, they are just trying to get tents, water, flashlights and sleeping bags in the hands of refugees. You can be part of reaching their goal of $18,000 (to start) by going here.
I am also talking with an artist on Instagram who has been to the Moria camp. She is working with Help International to make stickers or something similar to sell for emergency aid. Follow me on Instagram where I will give you an opportunity to get those as soon as those are ready!