AKA: why are there suddenly refugees everywhere, and when are they going to go away? (Hint: never)
This is a summary of the notes I took on the first day of the effect.org “Hacking the Refugee Crisis” expedition in Athens. More on that in a bit, but first…
Crisis, What Crisis?
Today, globally, there are 65 million displaced people. More than ever before.
Refugees have always existed. In the past, a country would go to war; people would be displaced; they’d spend a year or two as refugees; and eventually return home.
Today though, the problem is chronic. Global warming and permanent instability means displaced people no longer have homes to return to. Folks are born and grow up as refugees.
Continue reading What is the “Refugee Crisis”? And why should you care?
No doubt you’ve noticed me spamming you these last few days with links to my charity fundraising page. This will be the last time, please read it…
If you’re anything like me, you may well be thinking “yeah, yeah, doing something that you enjoy & would probably have done anyway, then claiming some noble cause for it. I’m not falling for that”.
In a way, you’d be right. This has been an amazing experience for me, and one that I’m really glad to have had. And I could probably have found ways to raise the money that would involve me having slightly less fun.
But the end result has been that, through persuading and cajoling and haranguing, I (or rather you) have raised almost £1700 for one amazing charity. And that’s ALL for the charity: this isn’t one of those jollies where the cost of the trip comes out of the amount raised; I have paid my way in hotel bills and ferry fares, and right down to the energy bars & support van costs.
I URGE you to take a quick look at my chosen charity, and the amazing work they do – including running the UKs only refuge for young people under 16, by visiting their website at safeatlast.org.UK
And, if you can afford anything more to support this valuable work, even if it’s only a quid, then please help me end this weekend with a bang by donating on my justgiving page, or by texting “DANS95 £1″ to 70070. You know, we’re not all that far off raising £2000 together right now…
(Please share, if you feel so inclined)
Last night we hosted hard reality and Leonardo’s Valentine’s party. I was auctioneer – we “sold” off a bunch of slaves – raised an amazing £1193 for chariteeee (British Red Cross) through the sale of 11 people. I, perhaps rather rashly, bid, and now have to pay, £210 for Fern and Jess (who came complete with two £50 vouchers for local restaurants, and the promise that they would do my filing all day – except I don’t have any filing, just a desk piled with magazines and pieces of paper that need to be filed in the bin). I only did it to protect them from Gary – he had bid £200 and, seeing the look on their faces, I couldn’t bear seeing them sold of to an old lech like him so I put the bid in to save them from a fate worse than… well, worse than being my slaves for a day.
Actually, they’re not having to do anything too slavish. We pootled off to the Cod with the first of our vouchers and enjoyed a thoroughly tasty lunch: langoustine risotto, which was completely heavenly and just the kind of warm baby-food I needed to help soak up my hangover, followed by char-grilled tuna with spinach, leek and langoustine wanton and a sauce of aubergine and something or other – sounded awesome when the waitress described it, but the tuna was a bit chewy, and my recently-detoxed palate had trouble dealing with the saltiness of the sauce and the texture of the wanton, lovely though I’m sure they were.
We spent lunch trying to make hungover conversation, bursting into laughter at our own inability to complete sentences (or even to start them properly), said that it would be nice to go to the London Aquarium and hide out in the dark, but we didn’t, we went back to the office and I gave my two slaves the rest of the day off. Shame really, as I only had ownership of them for a day. Just think of the possibilities missed…