Migrant Plight Sparks Unique Crowdfunding Campaign

Community organizers have launched an Indiegogo‎ campaign to fund a $3 million rescue boat

Sep 10, 2015 at 6:49 PM ET

As governments across Europe debate over the growing migrant crisis, a group of concerned-citizens-turned-community-organizers have decided to take more decisive action by crowdfunding a rescue boat to help asylum-seekers make it safely across the Mediterranean.

The People’s Armada started an Indiegogo campaign that aims to raise $3 million in 10 days. All money will go to the Migrant Offshore Aid Station (MOAS), a rescue organization affiliated with Doctors Without Borders. If the campaign reaches its goal within the allocated time frame, it will cover the cost of purchasing and outfitting a new rescue ship—the organization’s existing one has saved the lives of 11,000 people this year. However, if they fall short the money will still go towards medical supplies and MOAS operating costs.

More Americans Don’t Know Why Migrants Are Fleeing To Europe

“Whatever money raised will go directly to MOAS,” said People Armada’s campaign organizer, Ross Frenett. “So even if we fail to reach our target this campaign will help them with their vital work and the many costs they bear, from $10 for hot meals to money to pay for onboard medical treatment.”

Frenett and his co-founders came up with the idea after growing frustrated by the lack of government intervention, which could have helped prevent an estimated 2,500 migrants from drowning this year. They decided to channel their collective anger into something positive and have so far managed to raise over $30,000 in six days.

“We are doing this not in opposition to asking governments to pitch in, but as a way of prompting them to do more,” Frenett said. “We’ve had the end of the campaign coincide with a meeting of EU Ministers in Brussels to discuss the crisis. Our hope is to have a boat completely funded by then to show, better than any petition or march can, that citizens care and are willing to lead on this issue. We would expect politicians to follow.”

To can donate to the campaign here.