Throughout his career, Skye Fitzgerald has worked alongside or been in contact with various humanitarian organizations while creating his documentaries. When it comes to protecting and defending human rights around the world, the work that humanitarian organizations do is extremely important—especially in today’s political climate when many governments want to limit aid to humanitarian organizations.
In the fall of 2016, Fitzgerald began to work on a documentary titled SAR. He traveled to the Southern Mediterranean and teamed up with an organization called Sea-Watch which conducts search and rescue missions for refugees crossing the sea. Unfortunately, refugees who make it Europe are not particularly welcomed by everyone. Living as a refugee in a foreign country has never been easy, and today it’s even more difficult due to the rise of far-right nationalist groups.
Lately far right-wing groups have attempted to disrupt the work of organizations like Sea Watch. As the European refugee crisis has worsened, right-wing groups across Europe have become more vocal in their opposition to refugees. Many of these groups have elements of racism, Islamophobia, and Euroscepticism (anti-EU-ism). This year members of a group called the Identitarian Movement, or Identitarian Group, tried to prevent a rescue group from helping a boat of refugees in the Mediterranean Sea.
In June the group announced its desire to raise money so that it can continue to block rescue boats from assisting refugees. After just a few weeks, the group managed to raise $100,000. The group believes that multiculturalism, as well as immigration, are bad for Europe. This viewpoint is shared by right-wing organizations in various countries on the European continent.
In response to the group’s efforts to raise money, there has been at least one competing attempt to raise money to help refugees. The money that is raised by the campaign will go to Doctors Without Borders—an organization that conducts search and rescue missions in the Mediterranean, just like Sea Watch. On the GoFundMe page, the creators stress that turning our backs on refugees and embracing anger and hatred won’t stop or solve the current crisis. Nor will closing borders make the world a safer place.
Organizations like Sea Watch and Doctors Without Borders need to be supported in order to help refugees—especially now that refugees may face even more threats as they attempt to find security. If you’d like to learn more about how you can help refugees, here is a list of six organizations that you should consider supporting. Also, be sure to keep your eyes on SpinFilm.org, so that you can learn more about SAR and gain a better understanding of what refugees have to go through in order to escape danger.