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SOS Méditerranée, saving refugees at sea

  • Serial Ululer
  • Book Lover
  • Writer

On October 25th, 2015, the charity SOS Méditerranée closed its Ulule crowdfunding campaign with a total amount of €274,723 raised. 3357 backers, coming from 42 different countries, took part in the project: chartering a boat, the Aquarius, to save migrants who drown in the Mediterranean sea every day. Since the campaign, more than 2000 people have been saved.

When we launched the Ulule campaign, some nonprofit people said we were crazy. Yet, it was a total success”, Jean Karinthi, manager of the charity, told us at the first party dedicated to the backers in May 2015. This demonstration of solidarity continues with direct donations to SOS Méditerranée. 98% of the charity’s actions are funded with those private donations, and the public itself. “The power of the civil society should not be underestimated: we reached unprecedented goals. There is a strong dynamic.

As a fusion between seamen crew and charity organizations, SOS Méditerranée is based on a very simple concept : “A man passing by a drowning man, helps him.” Bernadette, David, Hamid, Rodrigue, Chantal: names, stories SOS Méditerranée wants to share - a far cry from the cold figures broadcasted by the media.

“For the smugglers, migrants are nothing more than cattle. For the Westerners, they are numbers. All those people who disappeared because they were never saved. Unknown. We don’t know anything about them. Hundreds of people every day. On the Aquarius, a night after the rescue, they got their identity back. They became human again”, Jean-Paul Mari says (a French writer and reporter, who spent a few days on the Aquarius).

There is a name the SOS Méditerranée crew won’t forget anytime soon. Destinée-Alex, a young boy born on the Aquarius on May 2015, right after his parents were rescued from the sea. A name given in honor of Alex Moroz, captain of the Aquarius, “who had the noble task to sign the birth certificate.”

38 days of rescue were funded, and every donation can extend the mission. To support SOS Méditerranée and follow their actions: http://sosmediterranee.org/ 

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