Europe poetry politics

Choose Love

September 17, 2018


It’s been a blast working in Sew Ho today: stitching up split seams, sewing on buttons, and patching up jeans. But it has also got me thinking about the nature of charity, and gratitude, and what those words actually mean. Charity is about giving something to help those in need; gratitude is about being thankful. After two days working in the refugee warehouse I’m beginning to question why some people have donated items? Firstly, there are a lot of quality donations that will be well worn, but I can’t help but feel a bit pissed off at some of the junk that comes through the doors. I suppose what I’m saying is that if people are here living in abject poverty, homeless and often without family, then dignity and pride are the least we can afford them. If this is the case, why would we expect someone to be grateful for receiving a stinking, faded sweater full of holes? Or trainers so caked in dried mud they’ll never clean? Or clothes that need mending? Who do people think will do the mending? In Sew Ho we have so so many good jackets and tops that just need a new zip, but we have no zips (same goes for tents and sleeping bags). It’s not something that would have even crossed my mind – but there it is. We have an entire rack of donated coats with faulty zips. The people passing through Calais aren’t criminals – their only crime is to want a better life for themselves and their families. What does it say about us if the only charity we can give takes away what little sense of self-worth the receiver might have? I’m sorry to sound negative, I’m tired after a busy day, and feel such support for everybody who works in the warehouse – they do an amazing job. Anyway, here’s an awesome poet, Miksi Bee, I met in Sew Ho and I’m still smiling now thinking of our sewetry times ?. #refugeeswelcome #chooselove #helprefugees

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