3,000 life jackets make up this peace symbol in Lesbos. (Photo: Getty)
Refugees’ Old Life Jackets Form This Stark Message Of Hope
Global efforts to curb the refugee crisis have continued over the holiday period, even when Christmas took centre stage for the masses. A group of volunteer aid workers have now penned a huge peace sign on a Greek island with discarded life jackets from refugees to spread a new year's message of hope.
On Lesbos, a popular island where refugees try to seek asylum, charities including Doctors Without Borders and Greenpeace have joined forces to transform the collection of life jackets into the gigantic symbol. While it's a heartwarming sign of humanity, some of the jackets would've been worn by migrants who never made it across the water.
The charity groups hope the message will encourage improved conditions and faith in refugees fleeing relentless oppression and desperate poverty. But its main purpose is to remind the world of the inevitable risks faced when crossing oceans in the search for safety.
In a statement Greenpeace said:
"Almost 500,000 people crossed the Aegean Sea to Lesbos, many of them Syrians, Iraqis and Afghans. The dump site stands as a statue, a silent reminder of the risks and that so many more still hold out hope of a safe crossing.
It also includes the life jackets of those who never made it, of those who lost their lives at sea and can never return home or continue their journey north.
In November, 97 people died in the eastern Mediterranean and 187 lost their lives in December. They are the victims, casualties of their desperation and the ongoing failure of EU leaders to provide safe passage."
While each of the 3,000 life jackets was just another in a huge rubbish pile on Lesbos, the 100 or so volunteers have turned something hopeless into something meaningful. Watch Greenpeace's short film detailing the epic event below.
100 volunteers, 3000 life jackets. One message.
On the first day of the new year, more than 100 volunteers from Greenpeace, MSF and other organisations used 3000 discarded refugee life jackets to form one simple message to the world.Peace and #safepassage to all in 2016Posted by Greenpeace International on Sunday, 3 January 2016
By Lydia Morrish, published on 04/01/2016