My Refugee Journey – The Why
After watching the refugee crisis unfold in the news and media, I felt I had to see for myself and planned My Refugee Journey, the plan was to cover as many countries as possible that were affected by the crisis, along with attempting the journey the refugees take to fully emphasise with what they were going through and what they were fleeing from…
I started my journey in Calais at the camp known as the Jungle and then set off to Lesvos, the Greek island that has been the main gateway from Turkey to Europe by the refugees taking the dangerous 7mile boat ride where over 450 refugees have died crossing the water since the beginning of 2016 alone.
Having spent 2months on Lesvos and worked in one of the refugee camps I met so many people fleeing war and terror and witnessed courage and dignity like I’ve never seen before.
When I set out on this journey the plan was to show individual stories with every photo to show war had changed these people’s lives. Of course there is Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan that were engulfed by war and terror, but even people from Afghanistan have not been recognised as refugees just because of the country they come from. It seems in recent times refugee status has been defined by borders instead of the official reasons that determine who gets refugee status.
Since the coalition forces including the UK & US leaving Afghanistan, the Taliban have just walked straight back into many regions of Afghanistan and taken over yet again and in Pakistan there are religious groups attacked by not only Taliban, but their own government for their religious beliefs… Leaving regions and countries for these reasons qualify for refugee status, but because of this recent thinking by our international leaders, particularly the EU members, refugee status has been seen by what country they come from.
I wouldn’t call myself an activist, but I am a humanitarian and believe in human rights, we are all human beings. My Refugee Journey, I hope will show you all the result of war, terror, famine and natural disaster. Some of my photos will show harrowing images, some will show extreme courage and dignity and happiness. Kids have lost their childhood, for some, they know nothing other than war and their journey has hardened them or broken them, either way the journey has taken their childhood away that we in the west take for granted.
The journey these refugees take shows how their strength in accepting what has happened to them and strengthened their desire for a better life which they believe Europe will bring them. The refugees seek only what we want and have here in the west, a home, safety, free from war and terror.
The aim of My Refugee Journey is not only to raise money for refugee projects by producing a book, but also to highlight the plight of the refugees and tell their stories.
This journey is dedicated to not only the refugees and their bravery, but also the thousands of volunteers that have given their time and money to help in this the biggest refugee crisis since the Second World War.