Vietnamese refugees create fundraising campaign to help save boat refugees in the Mediterranean with MOAS
A group of Vietnamese refugees have come together to raise funds for MOAS, a search and rescue NGO that has saved over 10,000 people in the Mediterranean in just one year.
Duc Nguyen, Emmy Award winning documentary director of Bolinao 52, and a team of volunteers have launched a hashtag and fundraising campaign (#ICAREBECAUSE) to raise awareness and much needed donations for life-saving charity MOAS (Migrant Offshore Aid Station).
By the end of 2015 as many as 30,000 lives may have been lost in the Mediterranean, ‘the world’s deadliest migrant crossing’ according to IOM. In July and August 2015 alone an estimated 900 have died from drowning, asphyxia and dehydration in the Central Mediterranean region. MOAS was set up to mitigate this loss of life and rescue those in peril using a 40 meters vessel, two RHIBS, extensive UAV capabilities and a specialist search and rescue team.
Duc Nguyen, one of millions of refugee who fled Vietnam across the South China Sea following the end of the war in 1975, says: “In Vietnam we have a saying: “Ăn trái nhớ kẻ trồng cây.” It means, when eating the fruit, think of the person who planted the tree. Now as we are established in the land of freedom, it is important to give others the same chance at survival that we were granted and metaphorically plant a new tree of life. For those of us that belong to the Vietnamese overseas community, we share a moral obligation and social responsibility to support this mission.”
MOAS Director Martin Xuereb says: “As someone who was saved at sea and went on to contribute to society, Duc Nguyen couldn’t be a better ambassador for MOAS’ humanitarian action. His sensitivity towards the refugee crisis at Europe’s doorstep resonates perfectly with the reason why Christopher and Regina Catrambone, the MOAS founders, set up the NGO: they felt they should not be bystanders. We are extremely thankful to Duc and his production company, Right Here in My Pocket, for helping MOAS raise awareness about this global issue.”
The hashtag campaign will launch across social media outlets Twitter (moas_eu) and Facebook (Migrant Offshore Aid Station) where members of the public will be encouraged to record themselves in a short video completing the phrase “I care because…” and then tagging #MOAS and #ICAREBECAUSE online. An online landing page www.moasusa.org will direct participants on how to create and upload their videos and also provide fundraising ideas and materials to those who wish to participate at fundraising activists.