The Christmas period is also a time of giving. It’s in the papers too. The Times editorial and Daphne’s article today both have donations as a theme. The Times rightly argues that the MLPN marathon fund-raising during the festive season are a discordant note in a period where any charity should be entirely devoted to the needy.
DCG on the other hand continues her struggle, trying to open the readers’ eyes to the plight of the illegal immigrants in the winter period. An ugly exchange has surfaced in this regard. Apparently the Malta Red Cross did not take too kindly to Daphne’s appeal for material donations and have distanced themselves from her initiative. From what I understand they are loath to dirty their hands with more and more piles of much needed quilts and clothes and have gone so far as to write a letter to a Sunday paper explaining that DCG’s intiative does not have their blessing.
Meanwhile back at the camp the clothes that were collected (despite all adversity) are distributed in sub-human conditions. Surely we will hear detractors criticise the reaction of the immigrants who swarm around the distributors and fight tooth and nail for a scrap of clothing to keep warm. Surely aforesaid detractors will have no conception of living in appalling conditions and trying to survive daily on the same land shared by 400,00 brother loving Catholics.
I am a simple blogger sitting comfortably at a desk trying to keep warm thanks to the thousands of Watts consumed by my electric heater. I do not proclaim to have the ultimate solution. Yet, common sense dictates that the current situation can be improved. From this little corner I appeal to the organisation that I believe should be foremost in this crusade for a human christmas. One that benefits of manpower, youth and enthusiasm. One that should be brimming of intelligent young persons who could put their brains and brawn together to make this cold winter a bit more human for many people in need.
I am talking of the University Student Council. Here’s a programme I would draft and suggest to the Social Policy Council if I was still enjoying the idealistic days at Tal-Qroqq:
1. Aplpy with the relevant authorities and acquire the necessary permission to supply goods on a regular basis to the camps.
2. Form a Working Committee to co-ordinate a campaign that should involve (a) Awareness Campaign, (b) Attraction of Social and Economic Partners (c) Co-ordination of Manpower (d) A Goodwill Ambassador to Liaise with the people in the Camp
3. Awareness: inform about the plight of the immigrants through poster campaign, youtube campaign (insite?), facebook networks and simulation of the conditions in the camp on campus.
4. Social Economic Partners: encourage like-minded NGO’s and companies to support the campaign.
5. Manpower: enroll a task force of students who can work on the different jobs. Use their specialisation as practice and to promote the cause. Architectur, law, commerce, media, politics, humanities… all hands on deck.
6. The Camp. The aim should be the setting up of a proper distribution method within the camp. This should involve assisting the persons living in the camp with the day to day running – creating a working environment which includes chores, task force for maintenance and cataloguing of improvements needed. The inventory could then help with distribution being effected on a needs basis and avoiding the chaos that currently reigns.
7. Finally entertainment. Sports, music, theatre. That too might help to kill the day to day ennui.
Many will probably write in to comment that it is just a dream. Many will write to rebuke me for the pie-in-the sky drafting. It’s true. This is just a knee-jerk reaction to what I read in today’s papers… and I have always been a bit of a dreamer… but then even a few persons setting the wheel in motion could be enough.
It’s always better than some government employee who never made the grade in the law course complaining about his denial to Facebook rights and badmouthing the legal profession… I’m quite sure that there are more urgent problems that need our attention.