Migrants in Lesbos: Saved by Humanity

Cold. Wet. Hungry. Scared.

That’s what thousands of migrants are currently experiencing as they cross the Mediterranean Sea to arrive in Greece. Many of these migrants are risking everything just to escape persecution and violence- sometimes even their lives. Families, fleeing their homes – or what’s left of them after years of war – cram into small, flimsy boats to make the treacherous trip. But they’re desperate. It’s all they can do.

Last Wednesday evening, a boat containing 45 people capsized en route from Turkey to Lesbos, a small Greek island off the coast of Turkey. At least 24 migrants are currently believed to be dead, 10 of whom are children.

Authorities learned about the sinking after one man managed to make it ashore in Kokkari, a village on the Samos Island in Greece. Immediately following, members of the coast guard and air force set out to locate the remaining survivors.

This issue is important on an even larger scale, though. At least 224 others have died in the Mediterranean Ocean in just the past month.

Luckily, however, the caring, generous residents of Lesbos have improved the standard of life for these migrants. Although the flood of immigrants is ceaseless, community members have donated time, money, and resources to helping save, nourish, and care for the stranded people.

Residents have done everything from giving sandwiches to the travelers to aiding with the search and rescue operations out at sea. With February 1st as the deadline for Nobel Peace Prize nominations, these Greek islanders have been recognized for their efforts and acts of kindness on a petition with thousands of signatures.

But for these residents, their acts of kindness aren’t bestowed for praise or prestige, but rather because they are an essential part of humanity. As Maria Androulaki, who has helped drive refugees from the coast to the city, told CNN, “We are monsters if we don’t do this—why should we be given a prize for being human beings?”

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