To fundraise in these difficult times isn’t the easiest thing I have done, especially since the Aegean Boat Report don’t provide aid like food, clothes, medical, and hygiene, but only information.
Aegean Boat Report have provided free information for everyone to use for many years, documenting the ongoing situation in the Aegean Sea, in a time when verified Information is increasingly difficult to come by. Continuously trying to put the spotlight on how people have been treated, abuse and violations by government’s, have made headlines, not only in Europe but also internationally.
By operating as a “watchdog”, a “whistler”, openly criticizing and revealing violations done towards vulnerable people, especially by the Greek government, haven’t made me many friends, threats towards me and my family isn’t unusual. There has been many attempts to try to silence me, from right wing extremists groups but also from the Greek government. The attempt to criminals and discredit people and organizations that openly criticize the Greek government violations of international laws and human rights is common, to target what I do by saying it’s propaganda, I’m an enemy of the state, human trafficker working with the mafia and a Turkish spy is frequently used in the Greek press.
Information provided by Aegean Boat Report is used by volunteers, organizations, researchers and journalists, many actually benefit from the work that is published on a daily basis, also financially. For any organization media attention towards the area they work in would be beneficiary, and lead to more volunteers and funding. When an organization, who has tirelessly worked to provide more media attention, ask for support, I’m often faced with the question “ why do you ask for funding, you just gather information, you don’t do anything on the ground, you don’t help anyone”, it’s just frustrating, especially when coming from people who actually benefits from the work you do.
Everything is great, everyone is happy because they can freely use the fruits of your labor, until the time you ask for help, then they take a step back, turn around and walks away. Some even starts to ask questions on your motives to fundraise, if you are in this form the money.. if anyone had known the effort that has been put in to this over the years, the sacrifices, they would be shocked. Yes, even do everything I provided is free of charge, what I do actually costs money, any organization need funds to be able to work, just not Aegean Boat Report because it basically don’t do anything.. As I mentioned previously, it’s just frustrating..
What Aegean Boat Report stand for and what it dose is extremely well documented, not only on social media platforms like Facebook but also in the international press. To question my dedication and motives actually offends me, and I take it very personal! Anyone working in this field knows what it takes to stand in this over time, the sacrifices made, the dedication is many times difficult to carry.
I’m truly sorry that I can’t do everything on my own without asking for help, and that I need to to provide for my family. I’m sorry that I try to fundraise to keep this organization going, when so many other organizations actually needs the money more than I do, because they do, no question about it! I’m not rich, I work hard to be able to put food on the table, as everyone else, and if I’m faced with the option to continue and not be able to provide for my family, I would close down ABR in a heartbeat, because family always comes first in my book.
To support my work with the Aegean Boat Report please use the link below, and for those of you who have supported me, I’m truly grateful, thank you!
I will continue as long as it’s possible, but I really could need your support!