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Project “Water”

To show and raise awareness about the situation of refugees in the Mediterranean region

ProemAID and the Oceans and Human Health Chair of the University of Girona start a collaboration to show and raise awareness about the situation of refugees in the Mediterranean region

The Oceans and Human Health Chair (University of Girona), and ProemAID have established a framework of collaboration within the project “Water" with the common objective of showing and raising awareness of the terrible situation of refugees in the Mediterranean region. The Mediterranean Sea should be a source of life and well-being, but in recent years it has become the end of many lives.

 
 

ProemAID is a non-profit organization created in 2015 in Spain as a result of the migration crisis to provide a solution to the will of a group of emergency professionals in Spain (i.e., firefighters of the province of Seville) to carry out rescue actions in the Mediterranean Sea, where there is dramatic refugee crisis. As a result of this initiative and due to the great reception it had among other groups of professionals in the country, the organization has been growing and covering new spaces and participating in new projects, not only into the sea, but also in land.

 
 

The Oceans and Human Health Chair  provides a new, state-of-the-art tool with which to study and disseminate the importance of marine ecosystems on human health and wellbeing.

The Project “Water” aims to reconcile the refugees in Lesbos island (Greece) with the aquatic environment in which so many traumatic experiences had lived on their journey to Europe. By teaching swimming, ProemAID volunteers not only reconciled the refugees (children, adults and vulnerable groups) with the blue spaces, but also achieved another valuable goal in such a dramatic scene: to form a community between asylum seekers and volunteers working on the island.

When the biologist Sònia Cervià, a collaborator of the Chair and ProemAID, met personally the participants to the Water project in 2019 in Lesbos, she organized through the Chair a campaign in the city of Roses (where the Chair is located) to collect swimming goggles in order to give them to the refugees participating in the activities at sea. She also encouraged cooperation with Dr. Josep Lloret, director of the Chair and scientist, to establish a method allowing to evaluate how sports learning in the sea can help a conciliation of refuges with the marine environment, which influencing the community integration of people who just lived a traumatic experience at sea.

Photo: Sònia Cervià

Due to the context of the covid-19 pandemic, the Water Project has finally not taken place in Lesbos, but this has not stopped the volunteers participating in it. Instead, ProemAID and the Chair have prepared a total of 11 Roll Ups that show the collaboration between these two organizations, to be used as part of the corporate identity of the NGO in conferences, as well as in all events in which both organizations participate. In the same way, we will work together so that the transmission of knowledge and experiences that this symbiosis implies reaches as many people as possible, through awareness-raising and public awareness initiatives, where the academic sector and science contribute to a fair society.

 
 

Project “Lesbos” was the first project of ProemAID and the main cause of its constitution. In November 2015, ProemAID helped the people in vessels approaching the Greek coast from Turkey by accompanying the boats to safe coastal areas. The NGO helped people on board boats with engine problems, lack of fuel, medical emergencies and, if necessary, the NGO rescued refugees fallen into the sea. It carried out surveillance tasks through the team onshore and, in the event of disembarks, coordinated independent volunteers and rescue groups to secure the boat and provide health and humanitarian assistance to the refugees.

 
 

The Project “Mediterranean” is a collaborative project in which ProemAID has been working with different NGOs since 2017. In 2019 the Spanish NGO established a collaboration with the German NGO Sea-Eye on a project on the ship “Alan Kurdi” (in memory of the little boy who put us all on alert before the imminent migratory crisis) on which we continue working today. Coordinated and managed by the German NGO, ProemAID provides the project with human resources, professional volunteers, and materials for rescue and rescue work.

Because rescuing consciences is the first step so that in the future it is not necessary to rescue people, because all lives have the same value.

 
 

 

For more information:
www.proemaid.org

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