The year 2020 was marked by the beginning of the pandemic: while people were supposed to stay at home, there were many refugees who neither had a home nor could socially distance themselves. In the Greek camp of Moria, 20,000 people lived in a camp with capacity for about 3,000 people before the pandemic began. In a confined space, without adequate sanitation and access to medical care, adequate protection from the virus was impossible.
With more than 100 people from media, culture and civil society organizations, we therefore launched the #LeaveNoOneBehind campaign to draw attention to the catastrophic situation, enforce the evacuation of the overcrowded camps and raise funds for humanitarian projects.
In the fall of 2020, the largest camp in the EU burned down completely. When this obvious failure of Europeans asylum politics did not lead to a rethinking, it became increasingly evident that our work was needed in the long term: To provide the civil society and the many small NGOs at the EU’s external borders a structure capable of supporting educational as well as fundraising campaigns administratively, financially and creatively. Out of this need, the #LeaveNoOneBehind campaign grew since September 2020 into a support structure that not only raises funds for small NGOs and initiatives, but also does political education and launches its own projects and actions in crisis situations. The full-time team of #LeaveNoOneBehind is based in Berlin.