In Samos camp this week MAGGOTS were found in the officially supplied food that we have fought against for months now as being unfit for human consumption, of poor dietary needs, lacking in nutrition and practically inedible.. There are no excuses left for these conditions. Enough money is paid to both authorities and the UN to ensure at least decent healthy food, food fit for human consumption is provided for those seeking refuge!!

In Fact, International law states and is adopted by the UNITED NATIONS DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS:

The right to food is recognized in the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Article 25) as part of the right to an adequate standard of living, and is enshrined in the 1966 International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (Article 11).[5] The 2009 Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights makes the right to food justiciable at the international level.[25]
In 2012, the Food Assistance Convention was adopted, making it the first legally binding international treaty on food aid.

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This is Samos this week…. It is a far cry from the promised and no doubt still being discussed “winterization ” of the camps! It is a blight on all those with conscience who either turn away or find this acceptable, IT IS NOT.

We return to Samos in a week. We will never turn away, never give in and never stop fighting for the rights of every human being on this planet to have basic human rights, basic humanity, basic living conditions, education, solace, sanctuary, medical attention, the right to be heard, seen, listened to, the right of safety, of refuge … and the right and the ability to return home !

We are so grateful to those who have already offered help, donated, fundraised, offered advise, suggestions and ideas of help. From the Pakistani community in Ballaghdereen, to Deirdre in Cork and to all her colleagues and friends, to Eva who is a constant support and provider,Bernie in Belfast who has been behind us all the way, to Claire and Jeremy in France and Amy in Cornwall, Denis in New york and Ireland, and Jerry and Louisa in Mayo…  to those who have donated via bank transfer, paypal or go fund me. I wish I could name and personally thank every single one of you, it is the least you deserve but I hope this and our promise of doing our best in your name and with your donations/support suffices in some way to showing our absolute gratitude.

As I said, we are in the last preparations for our return. As you can see from the video ( Thanks M) below, things are extremely bad in Samos. Families seeking refuge continue to arrive across dangerous seas to be faced with the scenes below. We have ideas and plans to implement to try to alleviate some of the conditions below but the constant and more sustainable fight for an end to war, greed, conflict and abuse of humans is to the forefront of our minds and our humanitarian work as always only runs paralell to our beliefs as human rights defenders/activists.

Please continue alongside us, watch the videos, and if at all possible donate,share our updates ( which will continue once we arrive back to Greece next week) stay in touch or get in touch… we can not do any of this alone…



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As always, Thank you .

Is it enough yet?

It is with anger in every fibre of my being I type this, type it violently on each key of the keyboard in the ridiculous and probably vain hope that typing loudly will make more people listen. No more excuses , band aids are not enough and yes, what we do is nothing more than a band-aid.

This winter in the camps in Greece, people have died. In 2016/17 in first world countries, in Europe, in our civilized? countries we are watching people die. Drown, freeze, die from inhumane lack of medical treatment, inhumane lack of caring , lack of conscience, from bitterness, racism, xenophobia, from intolerance and ignorance.

I am screaming but even louder they are screaming and no one listens, no-one that can and should make a difference.Do you understand, people are seeking refuge! REFUGE!!! Do we just not care enough? Is it just not close enough to home? Is it the wrong skin colour that we find easy to ignore? Are we really so shallow to choose which religion we help?Which child to save? Which mother we listen to?

The pictures of dead babies has not been enough, the pictures of freezing cold and wet mothers giving birth in a tent not enough. We have sat with the sole survivor of a shipwreck in my arms for 2 days ( 11 years old). I have held the bodies of 3 young babies as their father dug their grave in Samos. We have lifted the body of a 10 year old boy out of the water 10 days after his little body was lost at sea. I can tell you all the stories of rape, torture, murder, displacement, fear and death that we listen to each night.  We can reiterate to you the indomitable resilience, bravery and sheer fight to survive we witness daily in the camps… but will that even be enough ?

Yes, today I despair. This last week alone we have had 3 suicide attempts in the camp in Samos, The most recent being a Palestinian single father of 3 children. He has been in the camp for months now with little or no information on his future or the future of his children. What parent could watch his children suffer for months on end, after survivng war, dangerous sea crossings and who knows what other terrors, without any sign of an end, any sign of compassion coming forward or even a start at an asylum process to which he can plan refuge, sanctuary and safety for his 3 young children. Death, leaving behind his children as orphans seemed to him his only chance of getting them heard, getting them help… allowing them a life.

We have booked our tickets to return, to do something, anything we can to help. To add more band-aids to an abyss but we wont stop trying. We will be louder, angrier and more front-line than ever. We will beg, shout, plead for help, for notice, for conscience and for humanity…

We ( all of us ) need help . options to donate below

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So, let me tell you about resilience. It is one of the abiding , resounding characters of those seeking refuge in the unwelcoming camps in Europe. It is the humbling kick in the backside many of us get and need when we feel hard done by when having to leave our beds, our apartments no matter how basic,  and go to the camp.When the rain is rushing into and around tents, cabins or containers that are now “home” to so many, when men and women are soaked to the skin while trying to find another rock, a pallet of wood, a broken piece of wall for shelter for securing the tents and still they gratefully smile and appreciate the little help we offer. When a young child’s face lights up when his little imagination turns a broken metal bed frame suddenly into a bus to drive his friends from Iran to Greece.




We have spoken many times of the emotions in the camps. Yes, emotions are, as expected, fear, anger, despair but without fail resilience, steadfastness and a sense of refusing to give up is palpable daily. How dare we, or I, give up, when those affected so horrendously refuse to. How can I even dare to think of being tired, of moaning of cold or wet… and yet I do, regularly, And in those moments I am comforted, offered tea, a hug and a cuddle and I remember to be grateful for all I have.


It is with all this in mind that we return each time, return to Samos, to the camp, to the centre of those seeking refuge  asking for help, for conscience and for safety. It is with this in mind we will again ask for help. financial help, moral support, . We will continue to ask for your anger to be diverted towards those that can make a difference, your voice to become louder against war and conflict, greed and inhumanity. We, all of us, need help at times .. this just happens to be our time to stand up and do something. Please do!






Christmas in Ireland 2016. Back with family and friends and feeling cozy and loved. Its been a long hard year of many emotions, despair and heartache was prevalent but also on reflection, we have had another year of solidarity, support , friendship and love. Our genuine and heartfelt thanks to the many many of you who have done so much, to those who have supported us and those we have lived alongside in refugee camps in Greece. We are always inspired by your dedication, your solidarity and your constant giving of all you can. From those seeking refuge , we have learned even more, the importance of family , the importance of appreciating all we have . We thank those who have taught us so much and realize how much more we need to learn, how much more we need to do and with your hope we will do better. Have a wonderful, safe and peaceful Christmas . My gorgeous godson also wishes you all a very happy Christmas ( He is keeping an eye out for the big man in the red suit… ❤

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Please take the time to listen to (and share)Sara’s story. (In brief). For all that we do it is still fundamentally a band aid. More, much more is needed. Of course your support, your donations are needed but even more urgently is those the should be listening to listen, those playing God with people’s lives and their fate to find some humanity. For Sara, for so many, please do whatever is in your power to do to help. Sarah is very very dear to us. This video was made with the full permission and Co operation of Sara and her family.
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Condemn me, it does not matter; History will absolve me.” – Fidel Castro. ( 1926-2016)

As the death is announced of the great revolutionary, Fidel Castro, above is one of his memorable quotes. Sadly and shamefully, the same can not be said of us, this generation, this period of history as we watch and permit the death, humiliation , racist treatment and inhuman reactions to the call out of so many for help.

Arriving back in Samos, one of the 5 hotspots has been sad . Nothing has ever been easy here, there have always been problems but what has become of this camp is nothing short of deplorable. I do not have the words nor the literal skills to describe sufficiently the state of this camp, this supposed place of registration and temporary holding for over 2000 people.9 months in a tent is not temporary. 9 months with out an interview to even begin the asylum process is not “paperwork”. The over used excuse of this being “unprecedented”has run out after 2 years.

Since when and by whose conscience have we as a race of people accepted that abandoning families , men , women and children to a small summer camping tent, on a steep incline on the side of a mountain heading in to a second winter is ok? That a camp built for 800 and now holding 2300 is safe? A camp with no evacuation plan in case of emergency, with no water regularly for toilets and showers for over 2000 people )already this week we were without water for 3 days running) . An “extended area” otherwise known as a field! to the side of the camp where tents are pitched in mud and on rocks, where there is no light once the sun goes down. Where campfires are the only form of heating and attempts at cooking to supplement the extremely unhealthy food rations handed out.

This week alone, Derek and I walked to every inch of  the camp. We handed out tickets to every individual in a tent for extra blankets on behalf of the Hellenic red cross.We, HRC and Friendly Humans group ( Samos) handed out 1300 blankets that afternoon. This did not cover those in the ISO box metal containers. So, 1300 people are in tents! This week also, we provided every family in the camp who have children aged 6 months to 2 years with tins of baby formula. Milk for the children is rationed and many mama’s are unable to continue breastfeeding as they are very stressed, some are too ill and weak and most do not have enough nutrition in their own bodies to continue providing enough of their own milk. On Sunday,  Derek and I  handed out baby sleeping suits and small sleeping bags to every child in the camp. Sadly, by the time Mondays forecasted storm came, many of these items were drenched and useless…And the same is forecast for tonight again. As I type heavy rains and strong winds are bashing Samos . Most of today was spent trying to help dry out tents, clothes, blankets and children. Men were scrambling for rocks to tie down tents and paletts to help raise the tents off puddles of water.



Each week at our regular cafe nights ( Sunday, Wednesday and Friday) we ,with the Friendly Humans group, distribute kettles, cookers, strollers along with the usual tea, coffee and juice. All needed but they are just band aids for the bigger problems, the problems not being dealt with.And this comes back to bureocracy, authority, EU , money, personnel and in fighting. It comes back to war, conflict, land grabs, occupation and greed. It comes back to the complicity of silence among nations not ( yet) affected.

Samos camp itself is a health hazard. It smells, badly. The lack of running water means toilets overflow, drains clog and stagnant water sits on the ground. Rubbish collects in piles. Camps are pitched squeezed between containers and concrete walls for shelter. To access these tents means a single person must shuffle sideways between them. Ropes are strung up for laundry, campfires are lit in precarious sites, shoes are left outside, makeshift chairs or tables are in the way. This is all because of over crowding, too slow processing of paperwork, much too slow movement of people and authorities and large organisations still pretending to know what they are doing. In the event of a fire, there is no escape for large sections of this camp. It is a disaster waiting to happen, not if but when.

There are options, many have been muted several times but none are taken up. We have been to other camps, ( not hotspots) which although still fighting slow processing and red tape are at least maintained and managed with a degree of hygiene, efficiency and solidarity. Here in Samos the volunteers and some of the smaller NGO’s do their best but lately even we are fighting for the right to stay, help and observe… Personally, I think the observation is causing the most distress to those in Authority!

So, we continue with asking for help with the band aids, we continue to do what we can and we will continue to fight for the rights and justices of all to be given refuge with as much compassion, decency and dignity as they so deserve. No part of what we do can continue with out your support.

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