MEDITERRANEAN: A call for emergency ferry transportation and better basic humanitarian assistance

We urge the EU Migration Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos to organise immediately emergency funding from European Union sources to help process and care for the hundreds of migrants and refugees who are arriving on the Aegean Islands each day.

This care would include 

Refugees queuing in front of a travel agency at 11 P.M.

1) A dedicated ferry to take only refugees & migrants from Mytilini to Athens not later than 17th August 2015. 

2) Improved co-ordination and provision of good quality tents, blankets, food and  drinking water within the grounds of the Moria reception centre, the Mytilini port area and the locally initiated Kara Tepe camp. 

Additional informational

On 13th August 2014, Christian Peacemaker Teams met and discussed with Mr. Spiros Galinos, the Major of Lesvos Island about the inadequate conditions of the registration and reception centre conditions and the difficulties of migrants and refugees wanting to leave the island. 

Knowing that the situation around the public holiday on the 15th August, would be difficult, the mayor requested 2 weeks ago that an additional ferry be made available. As of 12 noon on the 13 August 2015 he informed us he had still not received a positive response to his request. 

GREECE REFLECTION: Things can only get better

An Afghan man approaches me, asking politely if I am a doctor, and wants me to come and look at his daughter who has a stomach flu with fever for the fourth day. I explain to him that I am not a doctor, yet I try to remember whatever I know about stomach flu self help instructions: plenty of water, bananas, orange juice with bits…

Moving on some meters, another parent stops me, posing the same question, and I repeat the same answer. And then another one. And more. Moving another fives meters, a man approaches me and wants me to look at his daughter’s hands. It is an impetigo that has spread across both hands. It needs urgent antibiotic treatment. She is unable to move her fingers properly but she still gives me the most beautiful smile. Children…

We are in Kara Tepe, a camping area on the island of Lesvos where thousands of refugees wait for their documents to be processed so that they can continue their journey to Athens, and from there to continue their asylum process in other European countries.

There is no doctor in the camp, although thankfully we know that the Doctors Without Borders (MSF) will start operating here in the coming days. The municipality of Lesvos opened Kara Tepe in spring 2015 as a temporary holding place for about 1,000 persons – on the worst days there are over 3,500 persons.

With all the mess around her in the Kara Tepe refugee camping area she sits on a cardboard enjoying her
 potato chips.

Prayers for Peacemakers, August 12, 2015 Palestine.

Prayers for Peacemakers, August 12, 2015     Palestine.

Pray for all the Palestinians who live in and around the Abu Rajeb house in Hebron and the children and teachers who must pass it to attend school in the neighborhood.  If settlers succeed in taking over the house, Palestinian children and adults will be at significantly increased risk of soldier and settler attack.

  *Epixel for Sunday, August 16, 2015 
Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it. Psalm 39:14
*epixel: a snapshot-epistle to the churches related to and appearing with a text from the upcoming Sunday's Revised Common Lectionary readings.

AL KHALIL (HEBRON): A Week in Photos 28 July-3 August 2015


Being a Parent

Pictured here: A Palestinian father waits outside the Israeli military base of Beit Romano (also the entrance of the Old City of Hebron) to find out any information about his detained son. This is one of the prices that Palestinian parents must pay while living in the H2 area. 

COLOMBIA: Campesino lives matter too—racism in U.S. aerial coca fumigation policy


I’ve claimed to be an organic gardener since I originally started planting vegetables in SE Ohio in the early 1970s. At the same time, I confess to having used Roundup and a few other herbicides to deal with poison ivy and a few other invasive species that were frustrating me. I apply it as sparingly and specifically as possible, never when windy or wet.

Here in Colombia this spring when we were sitting in a restaurant watching the mid­day news on the TV I was stunned to see video of US planes flown by US contractors aerial spraying US­ supplied glyphosate on suspected coca farms (the plant used to make cocaine). Glyphosate is the active ingredient in Roundup. Everything I knew about applying this chemical said aerial spraying had to be a bad idea.

The practice is making the news because in March the World Health Organization’s research arm issued its finding that Glyphosate probably causes cancer. 1) Then on 9 May President Santos called for a ban on all aerial coca fumigation. It has been a controversial program with opponents likening it to Agent Orange use during the Viet Nam War. Residents in the areas of spraying report the loss of food crops, and various illnesses have been linked to the practice. The cancer link has moved Colombia’s Health Ministry to support the ban.

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