What do you see looking at these people?
Why did you study?
Why did you decide to travel?
Why have you married your partner?
I am curious to hear your answers. Do they all relate to happiness, either directly or indirectly? Did you, for example, think that those choices (eventually) would lead to a happier life? Or to a pleasant, good or better life if the term ‘happiness’ is too powerful?
We all strive for the best for ourselves. That is part of being human. In the West, we are offered many opportunities to pursue that desire. We can choose what we want to become, whom we marry, where we want to live. Many conditions for a good life do not even have to be actively chosen by us. Sleeping, eating, drinking, safety: for the vast majority of us, these aspects go without saying.
Still, people coming to Europe for the same opportunities and conditions are sometimes disapprovingly called “fortune hunters”. Mostly mentioned in the same breath with statements such as “They must return to their own country”.
This negative feeling is understandable. The large-scale migration flow seems to cause many problems and what we see in media makes us question the necessity and motivations: was the situation at home really that bad, or was it actually fine and are these people only looking for profit?
Regrettably, this sometimes leads to us turning our backs on these migrants as well as people fleeing war and violence, instead of discussing our prejudices. Do we want to turn our backs? Or would we like to ask ourselves the following?
Do we have more right to the safety and comfort of the West than they do? Is there even a ‘we’ and a ‘they’?
What do you think, looking at the residents of Moria?
Would you like to help these men, women and children?
I only discovered one difference between you, me, my family and friends, and the residents of Moria: our place of birth. I feel that such a given should not play down the right to a good life. Do you agree, and would you like to improve the lives of the people in the photos and the 9.000 other people in the camp? Support them by donating. Every penny counts! With your donation, we can provide medical care to 80 people every day and 80 children can go to school on a daily basis. And more! Click here for an overview of our work.
Text: Suzie Geurtsen
Photos: Kathelijne Reijse Saillet