melissa fleming

melissa fleming

[geneva, switzerland]


intro’d to Melissa here:

TEDxThessaloniki · Filmed May 2015

A boat carrying 500 refugees sunk at sea. The story of two survivors

why is there no massive resettlement program

why is so little being done to stop the wars/persecution/poverty..

something fundamental here – about our common humanity.. no person fleeing war/persecution should have to die crossing a sea to reach safety

could we be inspired.. and take a stand for a world in which every life matters…

find/follow Melissa:

link twitter

Chief Communications & Spokesperson at UNHCR – . Tweets highlight the stories of human suffering and resilience I witness every day.


syrian refugees

refugee camps

a means to go deep enough for all of us.. leapfrog to a nother way


Refugees need protection not rejection.
UNHCR’s position:

Original Tweet:


Extract of my book with photos: via @MailOnline

Original Tweet:


via Brandon:

“For the last eight years I’ve been the head of communications for the UN Refugee Agency. My job is to make people care about the sixty million displaced people in the world. I wish I could tell every single one of their stories. Because if people knew their stories, I don’t think there would be so many walls. And there wouldn’t be so many people drowning in the seas. But I don’t think I anticipated how difficult it would be to make people care. It’s not that people are selfish. I just think that people have a hard time caring when they feel insecure. When the world is unstable, people feel vulnerable. And vulnerable people focus on protecting what they have. They focus on their own families. They focus on their own communities. It can be very hard to welcome strangers when you’re made to feel threatened. Even if those strangers are more vulnerable than you.”


This is my friend Melissa Fleming, who I think it one of the most important people in the world, and who was so instrumental in helping organize the HONY refugee series. Tomorrow at 7pm we will be in conversation at the Union Square Barnes and Noble, to celebrate the launch of her new book: A Hope More Powerful Than The Sea, which tells the powerful story of a young woman who survived a shipwreck while fleeing the war in Syria. If you can’t make the signing, you can get the book here:


UNA-UK (@UNAUK) tweeted at 12:00 PM – 2 Apr 2017 :

“Statistics are human beings with the tears dried off” – UNHCR’s @melissarfleming on building empathy for @Refugees (

She soon also became convinced that by allowing me to tell her story, she would be helping to build empathy for all Syrians forced to flee.


For the most part, refugees want the world to know what they have fled from and how they could pick up the pieces of their lives if only they had the chance to heal, work, study.


There is a saying: statistics are human beings with the tears dried off.

Refugees are often treated as statistics, dehumanising them and allowing for narratives that promote fear and xenophobia.

I am afraid that if we didn’t tell individual stories, there would be even less empathy, fewer donations and more closed borders. Stories capture people’s imaginations and have the power to educate, create sympathy and encourage action


The idea that children are dying of starvation or mothers are unable to keep their babies warm because we are prevented from reaching them is unbearable and maddening.


So things have improved, but I wish I could say it is enough. Still, for example, only 50 per cent of Syrian refugee children are in school.

burke freedom law.. and dang.. to school being our predictor.. refuge.. et al


The UN Secretary-General has called for a “surge for diplomacy for peace” and has made conflict prevention a priority. We have record numbers of forcibly displaced people in our world today – 65 million. That is a reflection of wars not stopped or prevented.


Doaa: “we put our lives in the hands of cruel and merciless smugglers because we have no other choice … we are not terrorists. We are human beings just like you


This is why we call for the expansion of legal avenues for refugees to reach the richer countries of the world with tried and tested programmes such as resettlement, family reunification or work and student visas. Coupled with more investment for refugees to live decent lives in the neighbouring host countries (86 per cent of refugees are in the developing world), there would be far less incentive for refugees to entrust ruthless smugglers with their lives and attempt the crossing to Europe.

beyond more legal avenues.. a nother way – short bit..


Melissa Fleming (@melissarfleming) tweeted at 8:29 AM – 18 Apr 2017 :

“For their psychosocial wellbeing, we reiterate our call to gov’ts to speed up family reunifications from Greece.” (

‘Farzad has not said a word since he got separated from his mother in the snowstorm at the border,’ said his father, whose name – along with his family – has been changed.

couple that with Gabor‘s – when your body says no.. roots of healing..

The youngster is one of many migrant children have been impacted in this way and symptoms range from development problems to self-harm, nightmares and depression.

to cancer/addiction/et-al… on hold ness .. lasting and very deep effects..