Urgent Call for Assistance
‘If we drown going to Europe, we die once. If we stay in the Middle East we die a thousand deaths.’
What is Required: Volunteers to be based in Izmir and Istanbul plan to provide good quality (SOLAS approved) life jackets to refugees before they attempt sea crossings to Europe.
I am currently based in Istanbul giving life jackets to refugees however I’ve missed many of the refugees who are going directly to Izmir. I urgently need a volunteer to be based in Izmir who can give life jackets to the refugees there.
I also need a volunteer to come to Istanbul in February to give life jackets to refugees here. My permission to stay in Turkey expires on 1st March so I need to have volunteers ready to take over operations here.
When is help needed: ASAP. I need a volunteer to be based in Izmir as soon as possible and I need a volunteer to come to Istanbul in February.
Requirements of Volunteers
- Speak English – A knowledge of Turkish, Kurmanji or Arabic could helpful but is not essential. When you meet with refugees you will be on the phone with a volunteer in a camp who will confirm the details of the family you are meeting and will provide any translation needed.
- Flexibility – While we usually have 24 hours notice to prepare the life jackets before a family arrives, we sometimes receive calls for help at much shorter notice.
- Physically fit – Volunteers will need to carry the life jackets on and off public transport, although they are relatively light they are bulky.
- Self Funded – Funds are tight and everything we get needs to go to buy life jackets.
- Self insured – Must have own personal insurance.
Duties of Volunteers
- Make orders with suppliers.
- Receive deliveries.
- Take stock.
- Quality control.
- Prepare life jackets for distribution.
- Liaise with volunteers in the camps.
- Confirm refugees identities via volunteers in the camps.
- Meet refugees and give them the life jackets.
About Life Line Ezidi
My name is David Boulton, I’m twenty years old and I was the English teacher at the Sirnak Ezidi Refugee Camp in South East Turkey from June 2015 to November 2015.
In November my students and their families were leaving the camp en masse to go the sea in the hope of getting to Europe. I tried to impress on them how dangerous the crossing was but they were fully aware of the risks.
As one Ezidi said to me, ‘If we drown going to Europe, we die once. If we stay in the Middle East we die a thousand deaths.’ Saying goodbye to my students and friends was terrible. I had nothing to give and I did not know if these young people who I taught, eaten with, laughed with, would be alive in 48 hours. Worse they did not know if they would be alive in 48 hours. They had survived the Islamic State’s attempted genocide against their people, they had watched children die on Mount Sinjar for want to food and water and now they were possibly going to drown on the edge of Europe.
Knowing that many of the life jackets on sale in Izmir and Istanbul are fake, of poor quality or simply unsuitable for the open sea, I was terrified for my students safety. In late November I began buying good quality SOLAS approved life jackets for my students and their families in the hope of increasing their chances of surviving the sea.
Since then, the operation under the name Life Line Ezidi, has expanded to helping refugees from camps across Turkey and Iraq. To date we have given 453 good quality life jackets to refugees. Until there is the political will in Europe to stop this trade in human misery, we must do everything we can to preserve life.
Tomorrow three more of my students: Tonia, Ronia and Sonia will be going to the sea with their family. ISIS drove them from their home. Despair and desperation from the camp. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers. They just want to live and they are are very dear to me.
Contact: If you could help us please get in contact me for more information or if you would like to make a donation you can do so via our website. Thank you.
Email – firstname.lastname@example.org
Telephone & WhatsApp Numbers
+90 531 972 8243 (Turkish No.)
+44 7914 721 006 (British No.)
Human Rights at Sea is supporting this urgent call or assistance by Life Line Ezidi. It is not, however, responsible, nor has any liability in anyway whatsoever for the representations made by Life Line Ezidi, or the work undertaken, including, but not limited to the provision of lifejackets to individuals in need, in anyway whatsoever.
Human Rights at Sea provides profiling and social media support in good faith and on the basis that all representations by Life Line Ezidi and David Boulton are accurate for the truth of their contents. Human Rights at Sea does not underwrite, inspect, affirm or endorse that individual life jackets handed out by Life Line Ezidi are SOLAS compliant.