Doing My Part
Last week I posted this on my professional blog. Thought I’d repost here.
The Latest Chapter in Our Story
For the past few months, I’ve been up to my eyeballs in refugee solidarity work. This weekend alone I was creating a banner for a new Facebook group, coordinating food delivery to 40 Syrians squatting near my house here in France, and acting as a data entry volunteer on an online map showing the situation on the ground. This means I copy and paste items like “children are sleeping on the ground in plastic bags” or “Thousands of people are expected to arrive tomorrow and our volunteers are working around the clock in zero degree weather.” or “We need help burying the bodies on the beach.”
It’s all felt so urgent to me. Maybe because I know that not too long ago I would have been the one desperately trying to flee Europe and all kinds of people busted their ass and risked their lives to help. Maybe because I’m living here now and it seems all the more relevant.
I haven’t worked this hard in years. Really.
But. people have been asking me…
“Tasha, how can you do this when you are working and have the kids?”
So here’s the truth. I can’t.
I’ve been inspired by all the people I am witnessing who are dropping everything and spending a few weeks, a few months, in the midst of the crisis on the Greek islands or in the Balkans. I can’t do that right now. But what I can do is offer my facilitation and technical skills to help coordinate efforts.
So I’ve made a decision. I’m stopping all Creative Narrations work with the exception of ongoing contracts. I am devoting 20 hours a week pro bono towards refugee solidarity work through the end of 2015. I’ll be focusing on designing online tools and acting as a liaison between European efforts and the United States. I’ll also continue to support Syrians near me.
Please join me on our new Facebook group and please check out our list of ways to get involved. We all do what we can. I’m lucky that we can afford for me to take off paid work for 2 months. I know not everyone can do that. But I also know everyone can do something. There’s a need for translators, programmers, funders, organizers, writers, but most of all — there’s a dire need for leadership.
We’re talking about a crisis of epic scale here. We all need to step in and do what we can. Please feel free to contact me directly if you have questions of how to best help out.