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Refugees

A mother comforts her young son as they arrive on Lesvos. Many refugee mothers have lost their children or other family members on their journey

As I was eating lunch with my three-year-old over the weekend, I heard a radio interview with Jamal, who had lost 13 members of his family as they fled the conflict in Syria. They had drowned trying to reach the safety of Europe. My son, oblivious to the tragedy unfolding on air, chatted happily to me as he ate his sandwiches, excited about visiting his granny in the afternoon. As a child growing up in the UK with friends and family within walking distance of his home, his life is full of certainty and security.

Refugees arrive on Lesvos, soaking wet and cold from their dangerous journey across the sea.

At night, temperatures on the Greek island of Lesvos are falling to single digits. Refugee families are enduring winter temperatures in thin tents or temporary shelters, quickly constructed out of tarpaulin sheets and poles. Pregnant women and tiny babies are amongst the most vulnerable. They have survived long and dangerous journeys to get to Lesvos, but they are still struggling to keep warm this winter. 

Siba and her six-year-old sister Meral in ActionAid women's centre in Kara Tepe refugee camp.

"My name is Siba. I am 19 years old and I want to be a doctor. I fled from southern Syria after life became too dangerous for us. The turning point came when a bomb went off and my father was injured in the face and hands. 

Volunteers rushing to help the first boat of the day land safely as it approached the rocky shore on Lesvos.

Standing on the sandy shores of a Greek island just as the sun is colouring the horizon pink, you’d almost be forgiven for thinking you’re in paradise. Until you see the boat coming in. Then the extent of the tragedy that is the refugee crisis really begins to sink in.

This is two-year-old Ilin, from Syria, in Kara Tepe camp on the Greek island of Lesvos. As little as a fiver could buy children like her a coat to keep them warm through the bitter winter.

A cheeky pint vs a coat that could save a life

Posted in Blogs 3 years 3 months ago

Like so many others, one of my new year’s resolutions is to do dry January. Today, new recommendations on reduced alcohol consumption will no doubt encourage more people to drink less. One of our supporters has set himself a sponsorship challenge to go six months without a drop of alcohol, which got me thinking: what could I do to make dry January a really positive experience? 

Adele Parks is supporting our Christmas appeal supporting homeless children around the world.

You may know and love her as the bestselling author of heartwarming, witty novels about family, relationships and romance. Here in this exclusive interview Adele Parks shares her thoughts on the importance of being kinder to one other, especially at this time of year, to improve the state of the world we live in.