THE STORY OF THE THE EUROPEAN REFUGEE crisis has been an incredibly bleak one: thousands of refugees have died en route to the continent while trying to escape the violence and the poverty of their homelands. Those that do arrive safely often face open hostility from xenophobic Europeans and inaction from dithering politicians. But there are occasional stories of hope and humanity amid the ugliness.
Take Christopher Catrambone and his family, for example. They founded the Migrant Offshore Aid Station (MOAS), a private ship that sails around the Mediterranean rescuing refugees from the sketchy rafts and boats that they are attempting to cross the ocean in. Last year, the EU cut its funding to public search and rescue missions, which unfortunately coincided with a spike in crossings. As a result, the death toll in the Mediterranean has increased thirtyfold.
The Catrambones help to fill the void left by the government. They spend six months out of the year patrolling the ocean for stranded migrants, and have rescued 11,124 people so far. But it’s expensive work — MOAS has launched a crowdfunding campaign to fund their rescue missions. You can donate to their organization here.