In early 2016, we wrote an article about the difficult work of animal activists on the island of Lesvos, Greece, where a human refugee drama has been unfolding for years. Read below how successive tragedies that took place in December in an animal shelter awakened local and international goodness and resourcefulness, even among small children.
Eresos for Animals, a Dutch organization operating on the island and featured prominently in our story, had a tough December. In fact it’s difficult to even fathom what they’ve been through: On December 2, around 11 pm, their shelter was entirely flooded—water and mud destroyed the stone wall of their main building, all enclosures and fences, 15 bags of recently donated food, all medical supplies, dog beds and blankets, and power tools. The only silver lining: No animal, human or otherwise, was killed, although the situation was dicey and lives were in peril (read EFA vice-president Anja Haggemann’s dramatic account of the flood).
If that weren’t bad enough, a week later, as volunteers were still spending all day cleaning up mud and trying to raise funds, someone threw poison over the fence at night into the dog area. Result: the deaths of five lovely souls.
When adversity strikes this hard, a one-two punch delivered by both nature and (in)human intervention, even the most positive among us are likely to experience negative feelings like sadness, anger and despair. Anja, who’s in charge of this organization on Lesvos, surely felt some of those emotions, but her mission was too important to let them stop her. She went into resourceful mode, doubled her already herculean efforts, organized her volunteers and asked for help.
EFA’s call was answered with another tidal wave, this time of donations. Kind souls dug deep and were able to donate €8,300 in cash, as well as blankets and other supplies for the furry ones. The best of humanity, and of the web, on full display. Gratitude!
But it’s the contribution of 26 kids from three kindergartens in the town of Molyvos that moved Anja the most. These children, whose teachers are animal lovers, have been sensitized to the importance of animal welfare. So the band of little activists-in-the-making decided to do something about the tragedies. They went around town singing Christmas carols to raise funds for EFA, and the little miracle workers managed to bring in €160. Kudos!
In the meantime, EFA still needs help.
To wire money into their Dutch bank account:
Stichting Eresos for Animals
IBAN NL48 RABO 0308 8276 94
PayPal: firstname.lastname@example.org (http://www.eresosforanimals.com/)