Human Rights

Former refugee boats give cruisers a tour of Amsterdam through the eyes of migrants

Photo Credits: UNHCR

Once upon a time, ‘Meneer Vrijdag’ and ‘Klein Boot’ were boats that were previously used to smuggle asylum seekers across the Mediterranean in search for a better life.

Now, the vessels are traversing much calmer waters: they’ve been taken in by Lampedusa Cruises, a tour company in Amsterdam that invites residents and tourists alike to take in the city’s history, much of which has been shaped by refugees and migrants.

The skippers, from countries including Eritrea, Libya and Syria, all have one thing in common – they themselves were refugees who came to Amsterdam on a boat not unlike the vessel they now sit at the helm of.

“Our guides tell you the hidden history of Amsterdam through the eyes of its immigrants and outsiders, including their personal migration story,” the company’s website reads.

The company takes its name from the island of Lampedusa, which is a symbol of Europe’s migrant crisis due to it being a popular destination for refugees sailing from Africa. What the cruises hope to do is to provide an alternative, less traditional insight into Amsterdam that isn’t necessarily what first comes to mind when one thinks about the city.

“The beauty of this project is that while Amsterdam is so shiny, we dive into some issues that aren’t so clean,” said Sahand, a tour guide. “Most tour companies talk about the Golden Age of the Netherlands and point out the old buildings. We talk about the immigrants who built them.”

Play Your Way to World Change

-Photo Credit: Rise Up Kickstarter Page

"Build your movement. Beat the system. A board game about people winning together—even when the cards are stacked against us.

"Rise Up", a board game created by the creators of Co-opoly: The Game of Cooperatives, is raising funds on Kickstarter. This game is winning the hearts of not only existing NGOs and activists, but the everyday geek simply allured by the idea of a beautifully-crafted game where you get to face the challenge of working against the odds. By the sheer numbers of supporters less than two months into the campaign, one can say for sure that a fair share of people do like a challenge.

"In each game of Rise Up, players take creative actions to fight for victory. Everyone wins or loses together. The game weaves a story about your movement, which can either be based in reality (like stopping an oil pipeline) or fictional (like fighting for dragon rights). But “the System” is hard at work too, manoeuvring to crush your movement through tactics like setting up surveillance, making arrests, or causing infighting.”

So, who’s up for a game? Support this kickstarter campaign here to get this to you activists-in-training!

The importance of civilian voices from the front lines of conflict.

- Photo Credit: @abbiets 

There’s a saying “pictures are worth a thousand words”, but we think that sometimes, maybe they’re worth even more - especially when one otherwise is at a loss for words to even begin describing the way things are. Photographer @abbiets was recently featured on @instagram and rightfully so. Her photos do tell stories worth more than a thousand words and with her work she chooses to tell the stories of the individual civilians she encounters in areas of conflict. “Surviving and keeping your family safe and coping with atrocities, are every bit as compelling as the actions of the fighters on the front line,” she says.

We couldn’t agree more. Learn more about @abbiets work including her photo series for @concernworldwideuk as well as her latest coverage on the women of Iraq.

#Standingwitness #EyesOn #Conflict#Women #Children #OneWorld