People continue to flee from violence and lack of opportunities in Libya and their home countries this winter, taking the Mediterranean to escape. In order to make sure that people are saved from drowning at sea, we have been operating non-stop with our rescue vessel “Aquarius” since the launch of our operations in February 2016. Together with our medical partner on board, Doctors Without Borders, we have been able to save more than 24.000 (thousands of) refugees in the last 20 months from certain death.
SOS MEDITERRANEE seeks to give back a part of the dignity that was taken from people while fleeing. We want to give a voice to those who were silenced for too long. It is for this reason that SOS MEDITERRANEE was awarded the UNESCO Peace Prize 2017 in June. On the Aquarius, survivors have the chance to feel secure again, after months or years of constant fear and despair. Once they have recovered from the strains of the crossing, many recount why they had to leave their home countries and how they dealt with the dehumanization experienced in Libya. But people share as well the hopes and expectations they have for their future. In the end, all the stories we are able to collect on board are frightening testimonies of the human tragedy taking place in Libya and the Mediterranean:
“I thought my chances of dying in the Mediterranean were 90 per cent, in Libya these chances were 200 per cent”
(Rescued on Board of the Aquarius in October 2017)
But these stories also show that people – despite all odds – dream of a better future and a life in freedom:
“I dream of a life in peace, the same as many others do”
(Mary, rescued on Board of the Aquarius in October 2017).
To save lives and collect the testimonies of those who had to flee are the reasons we have been operating for over a year and half in the Mediterranean Sea. This is what drives us as a European, humanitarian Organization and the volunteers aboard the Aquarius to continue operating at sea:
“I have a dream. My dream is that I can be safe at home, knowing that other people can safely make the passage across the Mediterranean”.
(Madeleine, Search and Rescue Coordinator on the Aquarius).
SOS MEDITEARRANEE will continue its operations for a second winter. We will continue to save refugees in distress in the Mediterranean, take professional care of them on board and treat them with respect and dignity – just as every human deserves to be treated.
“We need to make sure that all people endangered at sea can find a helping hand when reaching out of the water”
(Max, Deputy Search and Rescue Coordinator on Board the Aquarius)
Help us continue our operations! Make a donation, share our video with your network. Become a part of the civil movement for sea rescue in the Mediterranean, for example by organizing a benefit concert or fundraiser for SOS MEDITERRANEE.
Send now a signal of humanity and solidarity with those seeking protection!
“As long as people risk their lives at sea, we´ll be there to save them.”
(Klaus, 61 years, founder of SOS MEDITERRANEE)
“The only thing that I dream of, is to be able to live in peace, just like many others do.”
(Mary, 26 years, fled from Guinea)
“My dream is that no one has to die at Europe´s doorsteps.”
(Till, 25 years, SAR-team)
“I left Sudan and Libya for a life. I still hope to find a better life.”
(Abdul´has, 17 years, fled from Sudan)