Johanna just wanted her tiny baby to have a life worth living.
So fleeing violence, poverty, and hunger, she gambled on a flimsy, inflatable dinghy -- hoping it would take them to the safety of Europe. But it ended in tragedy.
The boat deflated, and 6-month-old baby Joseph died.
Over 900 people have drowned in the Mediterranean this year -- it could be THOUSANDS if it wasn't for humanitarian rescue boats. And that's the problem: some EU countries are now shamefully blocking those civilian rescue missions from leaving port.
All but one.
In the entire Mediterranean, there's now just one civilian rescue boat still operating: the Open Arms. Their commitment is incredible, facing violent coast guards, stormy seas, and daily heartbreak. They've rescued over 60,000 people from the sea -- and they're desperate for funding. We can help.
Many of us are facing serious challenges of our own -- but this is our chance to be a lifeline for some of the world's most vulnerable, people who may otherwise be left to drown, miles out at sea.
If enough of us chip in, we could help fund this rescue ship through the icy winter weeks, support other missions fighting through administrative red tape, and supercharge our fights for human rights everywhere. Donate what you can now:
These aren't just migrants, or immigrants, or refugees. They are humans: ordinary people in the most terrifying circumstances, just trying to live their lives and keep their families safe. We can't look away.
And yet that's exactly what the EU is doing: funding cruel detention centres, drone surveillance, and violent patrols to keep people trapped in countries like Libya, away from its shores. Civilians shouldn't have to run rescue missions -- but the Open Arms crew and others are being forced to step in, saving thousands who might otherwise be left to drown.
But it's incredibly expensive work -- and as the only civilian rescue boat currently operating in the Mediterranean, the area they cover is beyond massive, and this is the most freezing, dangerous time of the year. They need urgent funding, and if enough of us chip in, we could:
Our donations will save lives, it's that simple. And in another world, it could be us on those tiny boats, holding our youngest, desperately hoping that help will come. We can be that help -- chip in what you can now:
For years our movement has stood by the world’s most vulnerable -- whether it’s refugees fleeing war-torn Syria, the Rohingya running from genocide, or Yemen's starving children. We do it because every single life is precious -- no matter where you're from, or the colour of your skin. This is a moment to stand by that belief again, reaching out, with open arms.
With fierce hope and determination -- always,
Camille, Mike, Patricia, Mohammad, Marigona, Aloys, Bert and the whole team at Avaaz
PS: The cost estimates above come from the average expenses incurred by civilian rescue missions like Open Arms to take people on board the ship and cover their upkeep with emergency assistance.
PPS - This might be your first donation to our movement ever. But what a first donation! Did you know that Avaaz relies entirely on small donations from members like you? That's why we're fully independent, nimble and effective. Join the over 1 million people who've donated to make Avaaz a real force for good in the world.