IN September 2015, proceeds from Celtic FC Foundation’s Jock Stein 30th Anniversary Charity Weekend were donated to the refugee crisis in Europe.
A fundraising total of £60,000 was raised and months on, the International Federation of the Red Cross are using the donated monies to coordinate an on the ground emergency humanitarian response, in the affected regions.
The British Red Cross – the primary recipient of Celtic FC Foundation’s donation – is part of this response in Kos, Samos and Chios.
As such, Greece remains the primary entry point for migrants entering Europe: 728,910 people have arrived on its shores since 2015. Syrians make up the majority of migrants, followed by Afghans and Iraqis. A quarter of them are children.
The vast majority travel by boat from Turkey to Greek islands. The numbers taking this dangerous journey to Greece are the equivalent of the population of Glasgow boarding dubious-looking boats and setting sail across the Aegean Sea.
Red Cross volunteers are helping people straight off the boats. The next step is to provide food, emergency supplies, first aid and basic health care to those in need of help.
Humanitarian relief is being deployed as best as possible largely in the form of search and rescue, first aid services, emergency food, water, blankets and clothing distributions, as well as running mobile clinics providing basic health care.
Psycho-social support and restoring family links with tracing services are also being provided, with particular focus on children and unaccompanied minors.
In total, 77,116 items have been distributed comprising of food parcels, water bottles, and hygiene kits, survival kits and some winterization items have been distributed. The relief effort has also included providing food to starved families who have endured a horrific journey, arriving in Europe with little more than the clothes they are wearing.
Tony Hamilton, Celtic FC Foundation CEO, said: “The desperate images still emerging in the wake of the refugee crisis greatly emphasise the importance of these measures on the ground.
“This cause closely resonates with the founding traditions of the Club and once again, I’d like to thank the supporters for their passionate and generous backing.”
Information on Celtic FC Foundation’s donation to the British Red Cross and the European Refugee Crisis can be found HERE
Photograph above: Caroline Haga (International Federation of the Red Cross)