Late last year I took a break from painting, grabbed a cameraman and a production assistant ( 2 intrepid souls, Rebecca Booth and Nolan Full ) and together we travelled across Greece and Jordan to discover more about the refugee issue. I did this because I was so disturbed by our Federal Government’s cruel and inhumane offshore detention policy.
I wanted to discover more about the issue in places where it exists on a massive scale, test the myths & find the truth. I went to hear the stories of refugees, film them and profile the people and organisations who have successfully adopted humanitarian approaches to support and respect these displaced people. The idea was to come home and show Australians through these films, not just how ridiculous our government’s brutal policies are, but also how much we are missing out on by not extending a welcome and helping hand to these people who are no different to us.
The experience was powerful for all 3 of us, way beyond what we could have imagined. People have said to me that it must have been confronting- but it’s not really true. We constantly found inspirational and positive stories of compassion that have arisen out of the tragic circumstances that has displaced so many people from the middle east in the past 5 years. It was a privilege for us to meet all the people we did, both the refugees and the people committed to supporting them.
We spent a week in Lesvos, Greece which was the epicentre of the migrant crisis that began in 2015. More than 700,000 people passed through this small island in 15 months. While we were there we got to know an incredible refugee support center called Mosaik. Every week, 700 refugees from across the island attend regular classes there in languages, IT, Art and Music. There’s a long waiting list. Mosaik relies entirely on donations to continue it’s survival.
When we got back I decided to set up a fundraising campaign with the people at Mosaik to raise money to pay for their teachers. The campaign called #Solidarity4Teachers opened today and the response has been massive. We are so grateful. Thanks to everyone that has made donations- it’s amazing.
We’re looking for just 1000 single donations of $25. That $25,000 will meet the cost of Mosaik’s teachers for an entire year. PLUS- I almost forgot, I’ve donated a major artwork, which will be chosen at random, awarded and delivered to the door of one donor when the campaign closes in a month’s time.
Here’s the link
It takes a minute to donate (literally!). Your $25 will benefit the daily lives of hundreds of vulnerable people. I hope you’ll consider supporting the campaign and showing that a small contribution multiplied by many people adds up to something significant.
I’ve setup a seperate social site for the refugee film project on instagram
Our films are beginning to be released just now on our vimeo site
We began the campaign just yesterday to raise $25,000- the response has been huge, we’re at $6000 already but we appreciate all the support we can get to push on and meet the target with the help of our generous locals!