Borderlands: A Night of Live Storytelling for Lighthouse Relief

An event at the Colonel Fawcett brings together Lighthouse Relief supporters in London to stand #WithRefugees and raise resources for our current Global Giving campaign.

Photo by Sarah Booker

On 26 October 2017, Lighthouse Relief hosted Borderlands, a night of live storytelling held in solidarity with those trapped on the fringes of Europe. Over the course of the evening, nine storytellers transported the audience to different destinations around the world, while raising over €1,000 for our efforts to advance a dignified humanitarian response in Greece.

Former Lighthouse volunteers — as well as friends from our partners at Refugee Rescue and Refugees 4 Refugees — filled the venue to support the cause. Above all, the event was a testament to the steadfast commitment of this community to stand with refugees at a time when many others are turning away.

Photo by Sarah Booker

The following is an excerpt from a speech by Hannah Wallace Bowman, Lighthouse Relief’s Head of Communications & Strategic Partnerships, which was read at the event.

“It’s not the babies that get me. Even though they are, more often than not, ridiculously adorable, with their little sausage hands hanging limp on the foil of an emergency blanket. Often, they don’t make a sound. No more crying to be done.

When I was handed the body of a damp infant for the first time, I thought it was dead. But I think he had just gone somewhere else for a while. Checked out. Survival mode. It’s too much, otherwise, for such a small soul — that journey across the sea, over the waves and through the dark.

But no, it’s not the babies that get me.

It’s not the teenagers either. Even though, when I was 14, there was nothing that scared me more than being far from home, and here there are, alone, on the edge of adulthood and the edge of worlds. Their identification taped to their chests, puffing themselves up to make themselves look older than they are, not knowing that their youth — their status of being unaccompanied — might be the only thing to save them from the waiting game.

It’s not even the pregnant mothers. Though a piece of me hurts to be able to say that everything is going to be okay when, stepping from the boat, their legs give way to the false promise of dry land.

No, the people that really get me are those who remind me of my mum and dad, with the dignity of years stripped away as they wait to be handed a pair of dry shoes. In the gesture of handing them a ill-fitting sweating, inappropriately emblazoned with a garish logo, the wrongness of it all becomes overwhelming. And I can’t breathe. I look into their eyes and it’s the same feeling I got when I first realised my parents weren’t invincible. I am embarrassed by their vulnerability, and so are they.

We were never supposed to meet here. Not like this.”

Photo by Sarah Booker

Feeling inspired? To organise your own fundraiser for Lighthouse Relief, follow these instructions:

1. Go to the current Lighthouse Relief campaign on GlobalGiving:

2. On the bottom of the page, on the right-hand side, click the “Start a Fundraiser” button

3. Create your fundraiser by giving it a name. You’ll see “Please give your fundraiser a name” and an empty box in the middle of the screen.

4. Choose “What kind of fundraiser is it?” by clicking on one of the options such as “General Fundraiser”

5. The next screen will be your fundraiser page. Be sure to click on “edit your fundraiser” at the top of the page in order to customize your fundraiser.

6. The next screen allows you to edit and add general information about your fundraiser. Click “Submit” at the bottom of the page to save any changes.

7. You can change your fundraiser photo by uploading your own picture

8. Promote your fundraiser directly from your fundraiser page via the share buttons at the top, right of the page under the donation tracker:

· Tweet it

· Share it to your Facebook

· Send an email

9. You can add a widget to your website or blog by copying the code you’ll see at the bottom, right of the page

10. Track your progress toward your fundraising goal with the tracker at the top of the page. Share additional tweets, Facebook posts, and emails until you reach your goal!